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I've just knocked up a fairly basic isometric tile based game and I'm looking for the best way to store the level data.

Each tile coordinate is assigned one or more numbers that correspond to a tile from the tile set. At the moment I have a small level set up in the code but I'm looking for a quicker way to populate a level with tiles and load them into the game.

I was thinking just making XML files would be the way to go and if that's the case any ideas on how I should write them?

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Take a look at Tiled. It has support for Isometric maps and stores them as XML.

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Not exactly what you were asking but might be of interest to you.

Do you know Mappy Tile Editor ? it's very popular in the subject

You could get some inspiration from it or there is the extension for XNA you could use : XNA Content Pipeline Extension to Mappy Maps(.FMP). This way would save you some time : you won't have to write a ContentImporter and a ContentProcessor. (That can be painful sometimes :-)

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Maybe take a look at tIDE? It's a XNA 3.1/4.0 solution for using tiles. It also has support for Tiled and Mappy (suggested in the other answers).

And to answer your basic question, XML is the way to go.

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