As Mike said, this is not as easy cut as your friend has made out.
I have worked on an Indie Games Project a while back and found Maya to be quite useless at exporting models, animation, texture information out to the required file formats the game engine needed.
Nothing for a 3D app out to a game is ever as simple as Export from Maya Import into the game or Game Engine, usualy there requires some 3rd party application or convertor thats required to get the model and data out (this can be a very specific process). And therefore Games Studios usualy develop bespoke (in house) software or tools to do this for them, and these are generaly not available to the public.
On the other hand you must realise that there are software houses that will hug and kiss the MOD community and give them no end of help in creating ammending or improving their relase titles. Two of which are Valve and recently Infinity Ward.
Valve used Softimage XSI for the developement of their characters, objects and assets in general for Half Life 2 and wrote their own plug ins for XSI to allow reasonably simple import/export processes, all of which is free to download including a free version of XSI for use with Half Life 2 Modding. Infinity Ward recently released their SDK for COD4 and they have used Maya for Animation, and modeling of weapons, characters etc...
But be warned Maya is not the predominent application used in the Games Industry, 3DS Max is the application used by most Studios along with XSI and more are now turning to Maya for their needs. And you will find very little in the way of support for the major games and using Maya. Some studios do frown hugely on modding of their games (Rockstar being one).
So if its Games Assets and Maya, please do not be disheartened, I just ask that you fully research what you want to do and what engine you want to put it in to.
Good Luck in your future learning.
Oh BTW, the SM Ferrari Remastered Tutorial is good and so is the Digital Tutors - Maya Modelling Techniques - Automotive Tutorial. Both can be bought at the respective websites.
Chris (formerly R@nSiD)
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will truely know peace - Jimmy Hendrix
Winner SM VFX Challenge 1
3rd Place SM SteamPunk Challenge (May 2007)