It really looks like Unity is the way to go. The whole system is just awesome and there are extensive resources show how to do basically anything you could want to do. I don’t know why I feel like I’m choosing the “cheap” path on this because Unity is a professional toolset used by game studios all over the world, but I still sort of do. Of course I don’t ultimately care. I’ve always said I don’t really care about the way the game gets made, just that it gets made and runs in a browser.
This is a pretty monumental shift. I’ve spent very, very much time developing a browser-based world editor and generally doing stuff with THREE.js, but the Unity tools are just too good to pass up. In 5 minutes I made a terrain that’s more expressive that what took me weeks to make with my own tools. Plus I don’t have to worry about exporting and importing assets. Unity natively imports Blender files and the whole thing Just Works™.
It will take me a while to get a Unity-based version of the game up to the point that the THREE.js-base version is now, but it should be time well spent since creating the world will be much, much faster and easier with Unity. I’ll keep posting little updates but things here will be sparse for a few weeks while I basically start over and make some big decisions about how the game will work now.