I guess im in the same boat as you (experience with programming - just not on game programming)
I've been learning SDL(simple directmedia layer), a multimedia library API - it's an alternative to Direct X,
but it's open source & supports multiple o.s's
finding it great right now - there are some good resources on the net if you're interested. check out
and cone3d.gamedev.net (tutorials)
also check out nehe.gamedev.net
been good so far - it's all pretty straightforward if you know C!
btw - guys what's going on with the project?