Corrinne Yu is an American game programmer. She has worked on games including King's Quest, Quake II, and Halo 4. Her engine work included Unreal Engine 3, Microsoft's Direct 3D Advisory Board, and CUDA and GPU simulation at NVidia. She has also designed accelerator experiments for nuclear physics research.
Yu's early career was as a programmer for the King's Quest series for the Apple II, although she had her own 3D engine projects that she sold to various companies. She programmed for QuickDraw 3D, an early rasterisation API. She worked on the game Zombie, and created the video game engine used in Spec Ops: Rangers Lead The Way. In November 1997, she was employed by video game developer Ion Storm. She worked on the 2001 video game Anachronox and served as Director of Technology at the studio. While at Ion she was responsible for the Quake 2 code base used in their games and any games based on that engine. In November 1998, she left Ion Storm and later became the Lead Technology Programmer at 3D Realms. Yu worked as an engine programmer at Gearbox Software, creator of Brothers in Arms and Borderlands. Yu worked to heavily modify the Epic Unreal Engine 3 with an emphasis on lighting, shadows and physics. Yu was a founding member of Microsoft's Direct 3D Advisory Board. She participated in CUDA and GPU simulation at NVidia.
In 2008, Microsoft Studios hired Yu as the Principal Engine Architect for an internal studio, 343 Industries. 343 Industries was established in 2007 to oversee the Halo franchise following Bungie's separation from Microsoft. Yu programmed lighting, facial animation, and developed new technology for the 2012 video game Halo 4. While coding on Halo team, Yu researched new lighting techniques, and invented new dynamic radiosity algorithms. Microsoft applied a software patent for Yu's Halo lighting work.
In November 2013, Yu joined video game developer Naughty Dog, a subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment, to work as a graphic programmer on unannounced PlayStation 4 projects. In November 2014, she left Naughty Dog and joined Amazon.com to work on their Amazon Prime Air program. In March 2018, she left Amazon and joined General Motors as a VP of Engineering.
Other works and awards
Besides working as a game programmer, Yu programmed on the Space Shuttle program at Rockwell International California. She designed and conducted accelerator experiments at LINAC in California and the accelerator at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Her nuclear physics research won her a national award from the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2009, Corrinne Yu won Best in Engineering internationally at GDC (Game Developers Conference) WiG nominated and judged by a panel of her industry peers for the last 2 years in a row, for her work in programming. In 2010, Yu was identified by Kotaku as one of the 10 most influential women in games in the last decade. She is the only director of technology, and the only engine programmer, on this list.
Development style and influences
Yu is driven by her interest in how complex pieces can be made to fit together, and compared every day to playing a game of Minecraft, only more flexible and with greater real world applicability.
- Halo 4 (2012) Graphics Engineering
- Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (2008) Programming
- Anachronox (2001) Programming
- Spec Ops: Rangers Lead the Way (1998) Programming
- "Corrinne Yu biography". Allgame. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 10, 2013.[dead link]
- "Corrinne Yu: Principal Engine Architect, Halo Team Microsoft". Channel 9. November 23, 2009. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- IGN Staff (November 20, 1998). "Ion Storm Exodus Continues". IGN. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
- Chadderon, Lisa (September 30, 1998). "Demons Over Dallas". Fast Company. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- Wu, Andrew (April 24, 1998). "The 8th Annual Women in Gaming Awards". Quake Wiki. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
- Kristoffer Keipp (June 12, 2008). "PCGH interview about Borderlands". PC Games Hardware. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
- Nutt, Christian (June 16, 2008). "Analysis: Gearbox, Gas Powered Talk Tech With Nvidia GTX 200". Gamasutra. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- Ashcraft, Brian (August 27, 2008). "Why All This Gearbox Halo 4 Talk? Here's Why… (Maybe)". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- Ashcraft, Brian (August 28, 2008). "Microsoft Confirms Corrinne Yu Hire, Internal Halo Team Expansion". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
- "8th International Annual Videogames and Interactive Entertainment Show - Speakers". Gamelab. Archived from the original on 2013-03-30. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- "Corrinne Yu Halo lighting software patent". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (November 25, 2013). "Halo programmer Corrinne Yu joins Uncharted dev Naughty Dog". Eurogamer. Eurogamer Network. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- Crecente, Brian (April 28, 2015). "Halo 4's former principal engineer is now helping with Amazon's drone fleet". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- Randhawa, Karen (August 14, 2009). "The 8th Annual Women in Gaming Awards". Game Developers Conference. Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- Schwimmer, Trina (January 1, 2010). "The 10 Most Influential Women in Games of the Past Decade". Kotaku. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- Corrinne.Yu's photostream (June 11, 2012). "ChloeScottYuCorrinneYu343". Flickr. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
- GG-AngelThanatos (January 1, 2012). "Women in Gaming: Halo's Corrinne Yu". Girl Gamer. Archived from the original on January 9, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2013.