Ryokan Construction

I’ve spent today remaking the Ryokan which I designed before as a mock-up in Photoshop. I already had the main wooden structure, made from this small set of tiles:

A lot of the objects which I previously mocked up have stayed pretty much the same, but in some cases I’ve re-sized, simplified and re-coloured objects to match the colour scheme and for better proportions.

In this screenshot you can see that I’ve remodelled the bunk-beds again so that the tiles work without having to have an outer frame, and recoloured décor like the curtains and light shade. You can probably also tell that I’ve simplified the wall pattern hugely, as I felt it looked messy and didn’t give the right impression of a smooth surface. The floor upstairs has been carpeted, and the decorative beams at the top of the wall on the floor below have been pushed further apart to draw less attention.
Although its small and fairly illegible, the symbol on the lantern-style light shade is a low-res version of the Japanese kanji for “Sakura”, consisting of a combination of the symbols for tree, decoration and woman.

I filled in the rest of the building without the use of too many more tiles. This example shows the bare building, before any of the objects or furniture has been placed:

There are some quite odd looking dark bits which are supposed to show shadows and depth, however I think I made these a little too dark! After making this I brightened these squares a little. This image came together from this expanding set of tiles:

After finishing the main building, I started to think about the sort of objects you would find in a Japanese Ryokan, especially one consisting of Western and traditional Japanese floors. I already have a lot of the furniture, now made and remodelled, but the rooms needed filling up more. I wrote a list which I split into decorative and Japanese items and guest convenience items.


  • Bowl Decoration
  • Orb Decoration
  • Vase Decoration
  • Fan Decoration
  • Tea Pots
  • Tea Cups

  • Phone
  • Computer
  • Microwave
  • Kettle
  • TV & DVD Player

Kitchen white good or anything bathroom related. It is a well known fact that game-characters never need to eat, sleep or use a toilet in order to survive. In many games these things are beneficial, but not essential.

Bearing in mind the colour scheme, I added some of these things to my tileset, although it wasn’t until I applied them to the building that I realised how strange some of the items had been scaled! Hopefully from the image you can see what I was getting at with some of a stranger items on the list…

From this I was also able to create the outside of the building, using similar tiles. I tried to keep the shape exactly the same, so that when the character enters the building, the transition gives the illusion of the building being chopped in half for the player to see inside! I got some of the corners in the wrong place, as you can probably see if you look close enough!

With this nearly complete tileset, I was able to reconstruct the building in Game Maker. I saved the set as it was as a PNG to retain transparencies. This was then imported to Game Maker as a background. GM gives you the option for any background image to become a set of tiles, you simply set the size of the tiles and the program breaks the whole image for you:

And here are the tiles reconstructed into a building in the room editor:

Whole tiles can be snapped into a 16×16 grid, which made applying the lowest layer very easy! It was easier to turn snapping off for smaller objects that had to reason to align. It was important to un-check the “delete underlying” box so that some tiles could be placed on top of each other!


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