So: Essentially, how useful will SCI1 knowledge be in programming an SCI32 game?
What differences, if any, exist between the SCI versions? I don't mean much in the way of, "version 1 can do a lot more than version 0, and do it better!" so much as I mean, "version 32 does things in such a spectacularly different way than version 1!"
BONUS QUESTION: Can SCI (any version, but VGA specifically) handle gamepad inputs via either PS/2 or USB? Do we know if the upcoming version can handle DirectInput? I'd like to do some QFG4-style arcade combat with a gamepad (actually fairly important for my design) and if it can't, I'm going to have to look for another engine, or hope Brian can add it in. =/
(here's hoping I don't get saddled with the pat "wait an indeterminate amount of time and see" answer so many SCI VGA questions get ;)
The differences between the SCI1 and SCI32 virtual machine are pretty distinct, but programming them with an abstract language (such as the SCI language or, when it's completed, the C++ style language), the differences will be relatively transparent.
As for Gamepad control, yes an no. SCI has integrated support for joysticks (which Gamepads are, believe it or not). However, since USB wasn't invented until a few years ago (1996 or 1997 I believe), it wasn't included in early versions of SCI, and likely not even in later versions of SCI. However, it might be possible for a USB Gamepad or joystick to be used in SCI if a proper driver was loaded, either by Windows or by a 3rd party programmer.
Although it is possible to hack the SCI engine to add support for USB devices in SCI, this would be way above and beyond the call of duty. Simply adding support into SCI Studio won't affect the actual game engine.
Alright, thanks for the heads-up. I suppose a player could fake it and use a button-keyboard app (so that pressing Button 1 does the same thing as pressing Q, et cetera) if it came right down to it.