While Blizzard recently happened upon the source code for the original StarCraft, the StarCraft: Remastered team had very few of the 1998 game's original building blocks to work from.
Speaking to Ars Technica, a number of Blizzard developers explained how the team managed to recreate and modernize the classic real-time strategy game while simultaneously staying true to the feel of the original.
As Blizzard 3D art director Brian Sousa told Ars Technica, the team had “no code and no art assets” going into the project. While they had been able to recover the original sound recordings, for the art assets the team had to rely on recovered artwork, game boxes, and manuals to mimic the look of the original game.
In the spirit of staying true to the original, Blizzard also had to reproduce some of the weird lighting issues and perspective shifts that found their way into the original release.
“Shadows are in the wrong places, and lighting is different across the board,” said Sousa. “But we wanted to make sure that going onto StarCraft Remastered, that [players] recognize everything instantly.”
A number of other deliberate decisions made during StarCraft Remastered’s development were made in the game of saying faithful to the original, something that the full story over at Ars Technica explores in-depth.