I have been studying this for weeks. I like Unity, but the commercial license is $1500! Other engines are o.k. You almost HAVE to have PhotoShop, because Gimp will not export to the RAW format the Unity and other programs use for the heightmaps (the maps that define the heights on the mpas.. lakes, mountains, etc.).
Even Unity is hard to use, if you do not know what you are doing. These programs have a big learning curve, it’s daunting. Unity really has the edge because it will export to Flash, and has it’s own plugin.
It really is tedious, and time consuming, and by the time you figured out how to do stuff- your game idea went out the window. It sure is harder than it looks!
Meanwhile, there is the CRABS IN A BARREL reality around here. Dave Singleton is lucky those crooks didn’t decide to harm him. God bless that 73 year old man he is the hard workin’, salt of the earth. Meanwhile..the “yuppies” are dividing up the world for themselves!