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Inspired by the ideas, ideals and creative freedom of the Surrealist movement, primary age children authored and published their own artistically ambitious video game, called Paper Dreams.

With the support of our professional artists, they developed an amazing a range of quirky characters and outlandish environments. They created illustrations, animations, interactions and wrote text based dialogues as part of a fun, authentic and inspiring creative experience.

Funded by

Arts Council England, Haydonleigh Primary School, the parents of the home educated children, Priory College, Swindon Borough Council, Shaw Ridge Primary School.

The Game

Click here to get your free copy of Paper Dreams (PC and Mac) now!

“happy … proud … surprised we managed to do it”
“Our friends are going to think it’s amazing”

The Project

“Working on the project has been great fun and very exciting”

Learning about Surrealism

Professional artist, Beatrice Markopoulou:

  • Lead a trip to the Tate Modern to study the work of Dorothea Tanning.
  • Lead practical workshops about Surrealism.

“massively better than I expected”


The children drew their characters, environments and props on paper, digitised them, and then refined them in Photoshop.

“It’s a group project”
“All the effort drawing and designing belongs to all of us”


Students created the animations for the game in Adobe Character Animator, which uses mouse dragging and motion capture to make the process accessible to all.

To create their characters, they started with designs:

Then they broke them into parts to create puppets:

And then imported them into Character Animator to create the different animations:


Students designed their levels in Unity – the most widely used software for making games on Steam and mobile platforms.

“I didn’t think it would be this good”
“It’s massively better than I expected”
“We’re going like ‘woah!'”
“It’s like a proper game that you would actually see on Steam”