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Korea loves StarCraft, it's one of the most played games at their cyber cafes. Well, one of their leading online outlets is reporting that an HD remake of the original StarCraft is on the way and that more information will be revealed at this year's BlizzCon.
As quoted from the iNews24 source...
[...] multiple sources with knowledge of Blizzard internal plans said that Blizzard will reveal StarCraft HD to the public this September. The StarCraft HD remastered version will retain the original gameplay and is said to have improved graphics resolution and user interface (UI)
It looks like iNews24 will have a lot to live up to when it comes to this rumor panning out, because if September rolls around and StarCraft HD is not revealed, well... there's going to be a lot of internet rage going around.
The thing is, it just can't be improved graphics resolution because upping the resolution on native low resolution assets will not make the assets higher in fidelity. What you end up with is very large, sharp, poor quality assets.
Now Kotaku isn't sure if the remaster will be in 2D or 3D. It's a good and very important observation because 2D is more expensive to produce these days. You have to render all the units and assets in a separate utility and then import them back into the main framework of the game. It's a multi-step process that requires a lot of work.
Given that the original StarCraft was made in isometric 2D, the main issue is that the old engine wouldn't be able to handle newer 3D assets, so they would essentially have to port over all of the core gameplay from the original into a newer engine if they plan on redoing all of the sprites, units, buildings and resources in 3D. It's still a lot of work but it would be a lot more streamlined and easier to pull off using the StarCraft II engine assets.
Realistically, there's no telling if the actual remaster is in the works or if Blizzard will actually make an announcement at this year's BlizzCon in September. However, if they have been working on a remastered edition of the original StarCraft and if they've been toiling away behind the scenes for years on it, then it's possible it could feature HD 2D assets... assuming they're going for authenticity. If they want to really bring the game into the new era, then it's also possible they've remade everything in 3D and simply ported the core game mechanics into the newer StarCraft II engine.
The core StarCraft lore wrapped itself up concerning the main characters in the franchise late last year with Legacy of the Void, so it's not like Blizzard will be returning to that aspect of the universe anytime soon. In a way, it does free them up to tackle projects like an HD remaster of the first game. However, it's all a complete toss-up to be honest.
Kotaku didn't get a response from Blizzard when they reached out for confirmation on the rumor, so we'll just have to wait until September to find out more.