Hello and thanks in advance to your suggestions,
I have taken a few courses on programming, Turbo Pascal and intro to C, about 8 years ago and I'm sure much has changed. So my goal is to get back into programming and learn what a solo programmer can accomplish. The only book I read on gaming is More Tricks of the Game Programming Gurus and yes I was overwhelmed when I read it, which was long ago. But atleast in reading it have seen what some games consist of(ie, graphics engines, GUI, AI, collision, and most importantly the devotion of time and detail.
Here's my checklist of what I would like to accomplish in 2 years:
1. I understand C++ is the way to go. Now how should I go about getting there? (ie, what's a good book for C++ keep in mind I am pretty comfortable with C in many aspects)
2. I do want to get a good compiler, so I would like to purchase a new one with a budget of $200.
3. Other posts have recommended engines to handle graphics. Which one seems to be the best overall and which one seems to be the easiest for beginners. Budget for this is $300, hopefully not that much, but I imagine buying someone's code to be used for your own games will not be cheap.
4. 3D development. Once I get a good grasp of C++, I want to move right too 3D graphics. I'm guessing that whatever engine that's suggested would probably handle the math part of making 3D environments, so what I'm asking here is, what tools can I get to make my characters, maps, and other objects that can be used in the engine suggested above.
I'm already typing too much, so I'll leave the rest out. This looks like a good start for me. If you feel this is not the route to take in 3D game development, I am all ears.