Derek Yu

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Derek Yu
Derek yu gdc2007.jpg
Derek Yu at GDC 2007
Born (1982-07-02) July 2, 1982 (age 33)
Pasadena, California
Nationality American
Occupation Game developer, artist, blogger

Derek Yu (born July 2, 1982) is an independent video game developer,[1] game artist,[2] and blogger.

Yu is best known for his games Spelunky, Aquaria, and Eternal Daughter. An early exposure to the Nintendo Entertainment System explains why older titles provide him with inspiration.[3]


Yu has helped make freeware games in the past and commercial efforts today.

Blackeye software[edit]

Early in his game-creating career he was associated[4] with a freeware game website solely distributing its own wares,[citation needed] including Diabolika and Eternal Daughter.[5]

Eternal Daughter[edit]

Main article: Eternal Daughter

Eternal Daughter (2002) is a platform game that was developed over a two-year period.[3][5]

I'm O.K.[edit]

A platformer that Yu helped create, I'm O.K - A Murder Simulator, was a response to Jack Thompson's open letter "A Modest Video Game Proposal".[6]

For-profit games[edit]

the Aquaria game world

Yu has worked on several games sold outside of traditional distribution channels. He helped create the award-winning 2007 Aquaria[7] and was part of the two-man team[8] that released it, Bit Blot.[1]


Main article: Aquaria (video game)

A collaboration between Yu and Alec Holowka (at times a long-distance one,[2] as the two live in separate countries),[1] Aquaria is a side-scrolling video game that takes place underwater.[1] It won the Independent Games Festival's 2007 Seumas McNally Grand Prize,[9][10] was available as a download,[9][11] and was also sold in a Humble Indie Bundle.


Main article: Spelunky

Spelunky is a platform game with randomized level generation similar to roguelike games. It is reminiscent of the 1983 game Spelunker. It has been available through Xbox Live Marketplace since July 4, 2012 and was released for the PC via Steam in 2013.[12]

Other games[edit]

  • Graphical tileset for DoomRL


  1. ^ a b c d Road To The IGF: Bit Blot's Aquaria, October 23, 2006
  2. ^ a b Inside Job: Interview; Aquaria Creators Derek Yu, Alec Holowka (page 2/5), 18 January 2008
  3. ^ a b 4cr Interview - Derek Yu, September 30th, 2005
  4. ^ Blackeye software profile
  5. ^ a b Eternal Daughter ( cache)
  6. ^ Wallis, Alistair (2006-10-23). "Road To The IGF: Bit Blot's Aquaria". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  7. ^ GF Award Winner Aquaria Released Today, December 8, 2007
  8. ^ Company Bit Blot Official Site
  9. ^ a b IGS: Inside The Making Of Aquaria, February 18, 2008
  10. ^ 2007 Finalists and Winners: 2007 Independent Games Festival Winners Independent Games Festival Official Site
  11. ^ Aquaria Sets Sale On Steam, Dec 17, 2008
  12. ^ "Major Nelson Xbox Live Marketplace Release Schedule". Retrieved 2012-06-26. 

External links[edit]