Can anyone point me towards some resources to learn about practical programming? I know how to program simple things that will run from a dos window, but I'm really only interested in things with an actual gui. It can be C++ or Java, or even another language if it's transferable.
My goal is to program my own simple game. I want to run my program and have a menu come up where you select from the game, options, or exit. Clicking the game goes into a character selection menu (like a fighting game) and then you go into the actual game with your character. But I don't know how to start the menu and character selection for the game. I've looked for tutorials for other games, but they focus on the game logic rather than the menus and such. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Edit* I'd also like to have a book/tutorial/something that would teach me how to make a game with more than just the game loop (that is usually game specific anyways). I want to know how to create the start-up screen, menus, (maybe) networking, etc. as well as the game itself.
If you want to write a game you need to choose a graphics or game library. In c++ SFML is a good choice, some also like Allegro which has a few more game functions. In java, an engine like Slick will do. There will be tutorials on those sites to help you get started and you can post questions on the forums if they have one, some just have mailing lists. Because games use a game loop, it's not quite like a normal gui system, but they will provide a solution that works well for games. You could not use a game library in java because it has enough built in libraries, but it would be quite a bit easier to just use Slick.