Battle Atlas is a mod for the game TabletopSimulator that was released to the Steam Workshop in June 2017. It was written by myself and a friend known as TattleTale.

The idea for Battle Atlas started developing while trying to create a DnD campaign in Tabletop Simulator and found the constant alt-tabing between GIMP, Imgur and TTS too cumbersome. Tabletop Simulator doesn't allow you to import content directly into the game from your system. Instead, you have to upload your images and objects to a third-party hosting service, such as Imgur or Pastebin. You then import the assets via an in-game menu and the various parts (model mesh, diffuse image, etc) are loaded in. It's a simple enough process, but the several steps involved can mount up quickly when you're working on a large project.

My first experiment was with a jQuery/css powered web-based solution intended to allow me to easy lay out tiles and save the composite image. This had a few bugs and was ultimately never very efficient. I played around with a piece of software called Tiled which was good, but ate RAM like there was no tomorrow and still required the process of uploading to a third party host.

I wanted a way to create maps in Tabletop Simulator without having to manually edit and upload them. This was the basic idea for Battle Atlas. Making mods in TTS wasn't something I'd done before, but luckily for me it was around this time that I met TattleTale. He had already created a number of highly useful and succeful mods for TTS, including one I was using for creating my own campaign. After explaining my idea to him and showing him the crude-but-demonstrative web version I had cobbled together he agreed to help work on the idea.

I'd found a tileable set of RPG map tiles made by MadCowChef on DeviantArt and showed him the idea I'd had so far. He approved of it and encouraged me to keep going with anything that would benefit the RPG community as a whole. I wrote a small module to manage the images via a CMS, and respond to URL calls with a dynamic image. TattleTale wrote the in-game menu that lists and spawns the images as objects.