Have a look at Gamedev.net and there is a beginners section that will give you a bit of an intro to game stuff, then look at the articles section for wealth of info on programming and various other bits and bobs, also have a look on amazon for ‘intro to c++’ and ‘programming for games’ type books see whats on offer. Peeps on here may know better books than I can think of at present. If you are looking to learn c++ and don’t have a compiler to program with go here:
and you can get a copy of visual studio 2005 c++ express beta for free.
sorry that said nothing about graphics apps, but for a quick way of implementing game type stuff look at halflife/halflife 2 along with worldcraft level editor or the unreal 2 engine package which can be downloaded free here and allows you to create: