Syd-- I'm reprinting your "stay on the same page" list from the conversation with Maverick, if you don't mind.
Your compiler instructions from Coder's may not be available to others here.
If corrections are needed, post them and I will edit this thread.
I need some "tools" advice as well. I will ask specific questions in the next post.
First thing so we all have the same reference tools.
For any graphical editing
Probably one of the best FREE modeling editor that is actually EASY to use.
Also have a look at the free version of this game library
This is their forum
Here is a link to some tutorials that will give you an idea about how to use it
The 24 odd tutorials give a very easy intro and understanding of the various aspects to develop for this library, and it is well worthwhile to download and look at them.
I was actually thinking of using irrKlang-1.1.3, it is one of the easiest sound libraries to use, and I much prefer it to the built in sound library from within TV3D itself.
You will want to look at the tutorials for it as well as download the SDK for it.
Of course we will be using VC++ 2008 and the FREE version of it can be downloaded directly from the microsoft itself.
Likewise the very latest of DirectX SDK called (DXSDK_Mar09.exe) also from the microsoft site.