Flash AS3 is also a good starter, it resembles C/C++ so of course like others have said those are good starting points.
Working in Flash would help you get an idea of what all you need to do with not really worrying to much about the looks department. Team I work with here in Nashville made a few games and have them up on Newgrounds. We are currently in the process of making a UDK game to sell on Steam.
You can very easily pick up UDK and work with it, especially Kismet which is a graphical programming language that UDK uses unless you want to get into learning UnrealScript which again resembles Java, C/C++, and some C#.
Don't worry to much about graphics at first, just learn the basics then you are good to go.
And for the love of god don't get into programming AI, if you really value your choice in learning how to design a game, make that your last step. If you try to get into programming and decide you want to start with an AI, you will quickly lose interest lol. Some people are good at it, you might be, I wasn't when I first started programming a few years back. I started to get into AI and my focus went to Level Design/Documentation after that happened :x.