Blender is difficult to start with, but once you know the ins and outs you won't regret it. It has a lot of game-friendly tools to help you produce the content you need. Another great site to learn Blender is BlenderGuru. The site appears to be down right now, but you can view Andrew's tutorials on his Vimeo page. He has excellent tutorials on smoke and explosions, creating artistic trees, producing muzzle flashes for guns, various architecture, etc. You may or may not find the content produced useful, but simply watching and learning through his videos will improve your familiarity with Blender. Some of the things I do in Blender include creating levels and defining trigger zones, lightmapping, animations, modeling via curves (very powerful!), creating logos, creating bitmap fonts, etc. I'm not an artist dedicated to Blender, but when I need something done now it's a walk in the park. For such a powerful and free tool with its Python scripting engine for writing extensions, it's unbelievable.