"I want to say something that's very important, so listen carefully - don't bit off more that you can chew! I've received thousands of e-mails from newbie game programmers who want to create something at the level of DOOM or Quake for their first game. It's simply not going to happen. You'll be lucky if you can finish an Asteroids clone in three to six months, so don't get crazy. Set a reazonable goal. Try to think up something you can do by yourself, because in the end you'll be working by yourself - people flake out. Again, try to keep your first game ideas simple."
André LaMothe - Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus.