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I'm completely new to tile map creation. I'm a programmer and I'd like to make life easier for myself. It's a bit long to explain the problem I think I have, but bear with me.

The Scenario: From what I understand, in my code I need an array which holds my tile information for a zone/area in my game. Lets say for simplicity this zone was a 10x10 grid, so 100 indexes in the array. Now, lets say each index holds a number that corresponds to a specific tile. ex) Number 1 means grass tile. Number 4 means rock tile. etc.

So far so good. From this array (and additional coding), my tile map will be generated on my game screen.

The problem: As it stands I have to individually type each tile identifier for each index in the array. Now let's say that I have already fully designed the visual tile grid map for my zone in a particular art software. Simply put, I am staring at my fully completed zone in my art software screen and it is my visual aid for creating my array. My strategy now is to look at each grid cell, see what tile I put in there, and type its identifying number into my array. Rinse and repeat hundreds of times, looking at each individual tile until I manually complete the array. This is an extremely tedious and long process.

What I want: So my full tile map is already in my art software. What I want is for the software to more or less generate the array for me! I press a button, and It will see what tile is in each grid square, and accordingly generate a list in a text document with each tile's identifying number that I give it. That's literally all I need. I can then copy and paste the list into my array in my code. It shaves off tons of time.

The Question: Notice that I have used the generic term "art software". Is there any art software that can do what I described? Is there any art software (e.g. adobe illustrator, photoshop, gimp, etc.) which upon having a fully completed tile map, will be able to generate a text file list of each tile's identifying name?

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Very sorry for posting this without doing my proper research. I have found a program called Tiled. It does exactly what I want it to do (or close enough). When I save my finished tile map in Json format, I can open it up in a text editor and the array is right there in the "data" section.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Instead of copy-pasting the array into your source code, you should consider loading the map from the JSON file. Look into Tiled-loaders (or basic JSON loaders) for your choice of language, and make adding more levels at lot easier. \$\endgroup\$ – Tyyppi_77 Sep 29 '16 at 8:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tiled is indeed a very powerful WYSIWYG tilemap editor. I've used it for several projects now. By the way: the developer is also active here. \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp Sep 29 '16 at 9:00

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