Im a new comer to Wordpress and I am not real sure working using the loop. I'm attempting to display featured posts within the sidebar with this particular code:

<?php
query_posts('cat=5');
$url = get_permalink();
while(have_posts()){
the_post();
$image_tag = wp_get_post_image('return_html=true');
$resized_img = getphpthumburl($image_tag,'h=168&w=168&zc=1'); 

$title = $post->post_title;

echo "<ul class='left_featured'>";
echo "<li><a href='";
echo $url;
echo "'><img src='$resized_img' width='168' height='168' ";
echo "'/></a></li>";
echo "<li><a href='";
echo $url;
echo "'/>";
echo $title;
echo "</a></li></ul>";
echo "";
};
?>

This provides me a variety of crazy results, text from random posts, images, etc...Its designed to output a listing of images and game titles its the posts inside a certain category. Any help could be really appreciated.

Ok last one, I'm utilizing a wordpress plugin that resizes images quickly, thats exactly what the the wordpress_get_publish_image/getphpthumburl clients are.

I'm not sure how you can integrate your thumbnail resizer, but a start is new query, that we use multiple instances (they will not conflict) during my sidebar to exhibit posts from the particular category. "mycategory" could be a category number and showposts could be a quantity of posts show or -1 to exhibit all.

<?php $my_query = new WP_Query('category_name=mycategory&showposts=10'); ?>
<?php while ($my_query->have_posts()) : $my_query->the_post(); ?>
<a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" title="Permanent Link to: 
<?php the_title_attribute(); ?>">
<?php the_title(); ?></a>
<?php endwhile; ?>

Function Reference/WP Query « WordPress Codex

You could include image info inside a custom area after which call that:

<?php echo get_post_meta($post->ID, "image", $single = true); ?>

Function Reference/get post meta « WordPress Codex