Remastering StarCraft's Art

4/18/2017 | Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard’s Classic Games team has a very specific vision for the art direction of StarCraft®: Remastered. The guiding principle? Stay true to the original.

“It should be just like putting on your glasses," said Rob Bridenbecker, who heads up the Classic Games team. "You put on your glasses and everything crisps up, but it’s still the same game.”

Classic Games took special care to maintain the visual identity of each unit in StarCraft: Remastered, even while updating the graphics to 4K resolution. Below, we’ll highlight a few of the most striking evolutions in the Zerg, Terran, and Protoss armies.


Zerg

Zergling

Ever wonder why Zerglings in the original StarCraft do so much damage? Maybe it’s because they have hands to hold you in place while they’re chewing on you.

I went through our old manuals, concepts, and cinematics, and I’d find things like: “Oh my God, this Zergling has hands!” And if you look at the little portrait—it does have hands! Even though it was just two pixels on the actual unit. I wanted to make that a point, to get the hands on there.

Senior 3D Artist Brian Sousa

Ultralisk

Ultralisks in StarCraft: Brood War are the swift and muscular cavalry of late-game Zerg. Until StarCraft: Remastered, though, it was difficult to gauge the precise sharpness of their signature crescent tusks. Turns out they’re extremely sharp.


Lurker

Lurkers are the subterranean artillery of the Swarm. Their precise features were hard to discern in StarCraft: Brood War, but in StarCraft: Remastered they’ve been given the HD treatment, and now we can tell that, yes, they are in fact gross and scary.

The Lurker is definitely more arachnid-looking than other Zerg. With its burrow attack, you can’t help but think of a trap door tarantula.

Associate Producer Brissia Jimenez


Terran

Battlecruiser

Simultaneously boxy and sleek, the stately Battlecruiser rains destruction from above. As a large unit, its low resolution in StarCraft was particularly noticeable. Now its architectural complexities—bulkheads and engines and viewports—are visible for all to see.

The little square modules are crew facilities, like cantinas and rec rooms. Fun fact: a Battlecruiser can house from 6,000 to 8,000 crew members!

Associate Producer Brissia Jimenez

Firebat

It takes a special kind of maniac to stand against hordes of Zerglings in a suit full of flammable liquid. In StarCraft: Remastered, the Firebat’s trademark red suit is meticulously detailed, with armor plating, fuel tanks, and nozzles galore.


Siege Tank

There’s nothing scarier than a fleet of Siege Tanks, their Mjolnir 120 mm Shock Cannons poised to unleash a torrent of destruction—except, perhaps, if those Siege Tanks are depicted in stunning 4K.


Protoss

Reaver

The enigmatic Reaver conceals near-limitless power beneath its segmented carapace. Now both the Reaver and the explosive Scarabs it fires have been remastered in shining mechanical glory.

The tube-like protrusions on the sides of the Reaver’s head are its “eyes,” though since the unit is mechanical they are more like periscope-style navigational technology.

Associate Producer Brissia Jimenez

Dragoon

Dragoons, which carry gravely wounded Protoss warriors in their fluid cores, are renowned for their intelligence in battle. StarCraft: Remastered gives these brilliant soldiers the regal majesty they deserve.


Archon/Dark Archon

Formed through the combination of two Templar, Archons are beings of pure crackling energy. In StarCraft: Remastered, you can discern with greater detail the elemental forms lurking within the roiling storm of power overwhelming.


Evolution Complete

StarCraft: Remastered is a fresh take on a classic formula. The mechanics that made the original a competitive masterpiece remain unchanged, but the graphics have received an intergalactic resolution increase. Join us in the weeks to come as we explore the 19-year road to StarCraft: Remastered, and keep an eye out for the full launch this summer!

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