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where to start ??

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If you don't know C++ that would be where you should start.

http://www.cplusplus.com Tutorials are nice.

Buy a book for it, it'll help you in the long run.

Once you've learned C++ start to learn an API. SDL, OpenGL, Direct3D, etc.

http://cone3d.gamedev.net/cgi-bin/index.pl <- Very good tutorials
http://cone3d.gamedev.net/cgi-bin/index.pl?page=tutorials/gfxsdl/index <- Thats good for learning graphics.

You won't be able to make a 2D shooter right away, start with a simple hello world program, move on to a guess the number program, then on to something like a Text RPG.. then move to pong, then on to tetris and finally you can start a 2D Space shooter.

Take your time in learning everything too, don't just try to jump right in.

Oh and in the end, if you have questions.. get on IRC and ask irc.afternet.org in #GameDev, they are by far the most helpful people on the planet.

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The very first place to start is up here <points to head>.
You have to come to terms with the fact that if you are coming from zero programming knowledge (and no, making basic HTML web pages or using RPG Maker does not count) you have a long (but fulfilling) journey ahead of you.

The stuff you first make will look crap to your, jaded by Halflife 2, eyes. Your progress will feel slow, and you motivation will crash as you realise its not all tequila slammers at Duke Nukems house or sunning yourself on Delfino island, its HARD WORK!.

But one day you will make a little image of some guy move around to keyboard input AND actually understand all that code you cut n' pasted into your program... then its all worth it.

Happy learning, and tell the world i said hello, too.

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