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.