ninoM / character-editor

Workshop for course

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Character Creation Workshop

In this workshop, you'll build a Sims-style character creation screen.



Desktop-sized screenshot of the character creation screen

For this workshop, we're only targeting desktops (although if you're so inclined, creating a mobile variant would make a great stretch goal!).

Protip: If you're reading this in VS Code, open the Command Palette (Cmd + Shift + P) and select “Markdown: Open Preview to the Side”. That way, you can see all the images in this document!

Setup Instructions

This project uses create-react-app.

Start by installing dependencies:

npm install

Boot up a dev server:

npm run start

You should be able to access the application at http://localhost:3000.

Project structure and context

This project is built with React.

All of the functionality has already been built. Your job is to add the CSS. Some light tweaking of the JSX will be required, but only in service of styling and accessibility goals.

This project uses CSS Modules. CSS modules are ultimately very similar to vanilla CSS, but the classes are applied in JS. Here's an example:

/* Something.module.css */
.wrapper {
  width: 500px;
/* Something.js */
import styles from './Something.module.css';

function Something() {
  return (
    <div className={styles.wrapper}>
      I'll be 500px wide!

Additionally, a few global styles can be found in src/index.css.


Exercise 1: Fix footer links

Let's start with a small detail: The footer links are unreadable:

Side-by-side comparison of the current footer vs. the ideal one

Exercise 2: Layout adjustments

Next, let's tackle the biggest visual issue: the layout.

We have a MaxWidthWrapper constraining the max width, but everything is super wide within it.

Our header should be 65% of the available width, and our control-panel column should be 50%.

Annotated mockup showing the overall width at 1024px, the header occupying 65%, and the control panels occupying 50%

The character (the big illustration) should use fixed positioning, and it should occupy the space cleared by the above width tweaks.

Give the character a minimum height of 500px. On smaller windows, this means the character won't fit in the viewport:

Screenshot of a shorter Chrome window, with the character truncated at the knees

Exercise 3: Overflow

Each control panel features a number of customizations. For control panels with too many options, a horizontal scrollbar should be introduced:

Close-up screen recording of the overflow area in the control-panel

Exercise 4: Perspective decoration

To help add a bit of perspective, a light gray bar should extend across the bottom 40% of the screen:

Screenshot of the mockup, showing the light gray bar

It should sit behind the avatar (and both the perspective bar and the character should sit below the footer):

Screen recording, showing how the character and stripe don't move as the page is scrolled

You can use the background color hsl(195deg, 20%, 86%).

For bonus points, solve this challenge without setting any z-indexes.

Exercise 5 (Stretch): Implement a mobile variant

On mobile devices, the cards should stack horizontally, and sit near the bottom of the screen, underneath the character:

Screen recording, showing a mobile variant of the application

NOTE: This is a challenging stretch goal! It may require some CSS features we haven't covered yet. This is meant as an extra challenge for advanced students. Feel free to skip it!


Workshops are submitted through the course platform. Commit your changes, push them to your fork, and submit the link by clicking the "Complete lesson" button on the workshop page.

If you're not comfortable with Git, you can upload a .zip file using Dropbox or Google Drive, and paste a link to the public file instead.


Workshop for course



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