What would you recommend me to do? (starting out)

Alright so I’m new to coding, like a weird type of new to coding though.

I’ve dabbed into messing around with some codes in games, like many attempts at making mods in source, map makers for some other games which let you code, I even made some stuff in second life once when I was seeing what that was about (although I hear coding in that game is [censored] easy compared to real coding). However, I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a good coder, I just know the concept of it and a few basics.

I mainly am looking into OpenGL to make a stealth game, which originally I was planning to do with a source mod but source is a bit to limited, and I would rather be able to make a engine completely on my own and develop my coding better. Plus I like the idea of how OpenGL is more accessible, which is something else I’m aiming at. Making my game accessible to as many people as possible (including people with bad computers) but still be a little professional (not look like a n64 game, but maybe be backwards compatible to be able to when needed)

Yes I realize this will take a long time, I think what I’m aiming at doing is trying to bring up a 3d object in the first place, and slowly implement things into the engine one at a time. Like moving the object, rotating the object, lighting the object, making a room, making the object able to patrol the room in a pattern, etc until I have a basic engine or something.

I actually made a attempt at OpenGL earlier, but it ended with a combination of being tangled up with my personal life and trying to find out the legal issues with selling a program made with toolkits and API’s like GLUT and GLEW.

The question: Really what I’m asking is if you guys could recommend me a starting point from my position, as well as some advice for what I’m trying to accomplish.

Also I have a cheap computer which runs stuff like hl1 and lags like crazy on hl2 and decent gaming computer which can play more modern games. If I’m trying to make this game compatible for older computers, should I do the cheap computer or would it be fine to work with the decent gaming one?

Well your starting point should be as simple as possible, if you go with the game route my suggestion is to start with the simplest possible game you can imagine, like tetris, pacman or something like that, forget that stealth game for now.
Because getting well lit highly detailed 3d objects on the screen is the easy bit, the really hard bits is making proper game simulation (the bits that actually moves abjects around) work well.
So start easy then work your way up.

As for computers, well even though it won’t matter for a while i would develop for the more powerful one since you wouldn’t want to put any unnecessary artificial limits to yourself.
Also programing with at least openGL 2.1 in mind makes things easier.

Alright, what about some books on using C++ because I’ll admit my coding skills in it are limited. I just have the basics down, so I’m looking for like a intermediate level book that doesn’t explain how the code works, just explains how to use it.

Also I’m not planning on having a game right away which is why I said I might jump right into the stealth game. It wouldn’t even be a game, it’d just have the basic mechanics of it. Objects moving, light detection, etc.