I'm creating a highly flexible 2D tile-based map editor in XNA to make some of my future projects easier (will work for side-scrollers and top-down games). This editor can work with any sized tile.
This editor is based on a standard system. It has pre-determined layers such as Base, Fringe, and Collision. However, I've run into a bit of a problem. I don't know how many Fringe layers to use.
I'll be working with fairly detailed tilesets and will want enough Fringe layers to be able to render a wide variety of fairly complex scenes (e.g., forests with lots of trees overlapping).
I'm also considering having multiple Base layers to enable things like a player walking both over and under a bridge.
So my question is this: Is there a "right way" to approach this situation, and if so, what is it? Just lots of Fringe and Base layers? If you were a map editor, how would you expect/want this situation to be approached?
Also, while I have this question here, is storing layered maps in 3D arrays a good way to go about things? Meaning the first level is an array of layers, the second is an array of tile columns within the layer, and the third is the array of tile rows within the column.