"I'd thought it would be fun to, when I die, if I I got buried upright in my Mortal Kombat 2 Machine with kinda my face looking out the glass". From this week's Bombcast (10/21/14) at the 15 minute mark, it made me laugh hard.
The other guys on the podcast also include myself, @bargearse and @mwjeffcott who hosts and edits the show. We recorded episode 7 last night which is already up for listening. Let us know what you think and send in your emails, we will pretty much read anything.
For your first project Game Maker seems easier and quicker to get your hands dirty. Largely because it's 2D centric and has non-programming visual interface. Which is great for your purposes and even using the drag, drop and menu features will teach you some basic programming logic. In the long run you will eventually need to learn how to program, so if you intend to stick at it for a while maybe Unity is your best bet. There is really no wrong choice, let's say you use game maker for your first game, you will learn things that will apply to Unity. If you are super indecisive you can try both out and try recreating a basic game like Pong. I was in a similar position a few months back, I tried both and stuck with scripting in C# in Unity.
Reading the original Kickstarter page and the list of features sounds super ambitious, even for 500K. It almost reminds me of the pizza tycoon who pitched his MMO. Not to mention this was the developer's . To me it seems that the project was a unrealistic idea from the start and merely got funded by the existing fan base. It's a bummer all round.