Prettying up the Zergling in Starcraft Remastered

The Blizzard art team explains how they learned that Zerglings have grubby, horrifying little hands at the end of their spikes.

“We had problems with the Zerg across the board, because the units are kind of small with a lot of spikes and things going on…when they put in the ability to switch from HD to SD we had to go back and change a lot of them because we realized [the updated models] weren’t as close as we thought they were, artistically.”

-Starcraft Remastered art director Brian Sousa

This month, Blizzard re-released the 1997 game Starcraft under the title Starcraft: Remastered. Like many modern remasters, it gives players the option to switch between the older and newer graphics. This led to Blizzard choosing to remake most of the game’s assets from scratch when it made this re-release. 

What’s interesting about this process, (detailed in a recent Polygon interview) is that a lack of archival data from the original Starcraft meant the art team for the remastered version needed to contact the original game’s art team to figure exactly what certain units were supposed to look like. 

For instance the original game was meant to run on smaller monitors than we use today, units like the infamous Zerglings consisted only of a mere 30 pixels. According to art director Brian Sousa, Blizzard’s classic games team wasn’t sure what some of those pixels were supposed to represent. 

That led them to contact famed Blizzard art director Samwise Didier just to ask what an anatomically correct Zerling looked like. You can see the results (and the newly discovered gruesome hands) in the thumbnail above. 

If you want to know more about how (and why) Blizzard chased this level of fidelity in Starcraft Remastered, be sure to read the full interview over at Polygon.

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