So you have made your Console Applications for some time now and even created a simple text adventure game. But it’s now time to get your coding skills to the next level. A good way to start game development, is to create a simple game like Pong or Pickin’ Sticks. Forget about making the next MMORPG or FPS Blockbuster, you have to take small steps at a time.
Don’t underestimate the research and work a game needs, especially if you have never done any graphics programming before. The good thing is that nowadays internet has ton of information and resources, that help you overcome any obstacles you may face. Some time ago I found Moosader, a site that has plenty resources for beginners like Tutorials, Source Code and Art.
In order to take advantage of the graphics and sound capabilities of your computer, you have to use a library that has access to these subsystems. If you are programming in C++ good choices are SDL, Allegro, SFML and if your preferred language is C# XNA is the optimal path for rapid game development. These libraries have advantages and disadvantages and there are lot of choices out there, but you should eventually use something that has plenty of documentation and community support.
To sum up, start with a simple game and try to finish it. It doesn’t have to be very polished, but it should have all the ingredients that make a game playable and complete. This process will help you acquire skills and experience needed for more complex projects.
Good luck on your game development journey!