> I sensed you were doing that. Looks great so far! I think your game is really pushing me to go the 3D route
I really recommend you do it! The learning curve can be pretty high, though. Just stick to one tool that can do everything, like Blender, which is 100% free. I'd use it if I didn't teach myself to use 3ds Max years ago, and I'm now unable to learn any other 'traditional' 3D tool anymore. Also don't go for stuff like Zbrush, Mudbox, Sculptris or 3D Coat before you learn a traditional 3D software first. Those can't rig, animate or pre-render stuff for you.
I used to use Maya religiously for several years for 3D (Model, Rig, Texture/shade, animation, etc). Your game has motivated me to pick it back up. Can't wait to see your progress!