Matt Thorson (Jumper, Broken cave Robot) announced the release of Ogmo Editor, a general purpose 2D visual level editor geared for hobbyist and independent game developers. He offers the program for free to anyone who fits in that group, and asks that developers who profit from Ogmo-built releases make an optional donation.

Created as an Adobe AIR application that runs on Windows, OS X, and Unix, Ogmo Editor uses an XML file to define all the tilesets, objects, layers and settings for a project. After users create and open a project XML file in the editor, they can start creating, editing, saving, and re-opening levels.

"You can add new tilesets and objects to your project along the way and all your old levels remain compatible, so you aren't required to define every asset you'll eventually use right away," says Thorson. He adds that the program was designed with Flash in mind and that "most modern programming languages have robust XML support."

"My development process is very level design-centric, and it's really hard to make good levels without a visual editor," says the developer. "I found that a huge barrier to me getting projects started was the fact that I'd have to build an editor just for that project. Ogmo Editor was born out of a desire for a flexible, reusable 2D editor!"

[Via @ChevyRay]