Former Angry Birds 2 lead programmer, Jonas Johansson, has formed a new VR development studio called Nueston, and based it in Stockholm, Sweden.
According to the studios new website, neuston.io, the developer was founded in 2016 by Johansson who was previously working at Rovio.
In a mission statement on their website, Neuston says that they are a "game development studio with the ambitious goal to create high-quality social action games in virtual reality.
"Humans are social by nature, and shared experiences create bonds like nothing else. Virtual reality allows us to augment our lives with experiences that would otherwise not be possible." A quote from Johansson is also on the website saying: "Games haven’t been this exciting in years."
Johansson has experience in both mobile and triple-A development which will suit the virtual reality market well, given that the Samsung Gear VR is still the most shipped VR device according to figures published in February.
Johansson’s decade in game development has seen him at Crytek as a senior gameplay and AI programmer for the Crysis franchise, and he also worked on Xbox One exclusive, Ryse: Son of Rome. Previous to that he spent time as a programmer at Avalanche Studios working on Just Cause 2.
Speaking to Develop, Johansson told us why he wanted to move in to VR. "It’s the best way to create immersive experiences," he says. "Humans are built to take in the detailed world that surrounds us, and up until now we’ve only been able to present virtual worlds on rectangular screens, of varying size. With VR, you’re there, inside the world, and you can sense the space and objects around you."
There’s further insight of Johansson’s ethos towards development on his LinkedIn page, where he writes: "I’m a strong believer of simple, beautiful and functional design, which I try to integrate in everything I do.
"I believe in a mostly flat hierarchy in the work environment, where everyone is given rights and responsibilities, rather than having a top-down hierarchy where management micro-manages workers. It’s important to involve workers to increase morale, and to utilize their expertise. I do, however, believe that ultimately one person is needed to hold the main vision, to make a group work towards a common goal."