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 designer, artist, blogger

Derek Yu (born July 2, 1982) is an independent video game designer,[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]


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 was released as a freeware game in 2008 and was remade for Xbox 360 in 2012.[12]

Other games[edit]


  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. 
  13. ^ Robinson, Nick (2015-08-26). "Watch Spelunky's creator build a hellish stage in Super Mario Maker". Polygon. 

External links[edit]