As mentioned in an earlier post, I decided to pick up C++ again after a very, very long time. I've made a lot of progress and have written some very serviceable code for the game project I'm working on. Despite my earlier assertions, I did end up using a game engine to handle what I'm calling the “visual logic”, because I don't have the skill or patience to write the code to handle that. There's just too much to know and someone did all that work already. Instead I can now focus on the part of my project that is unique(ish), which is the heavy math involved in the simulation.
I'm starting to realize that C++ is a vast domain of knowledge and can take years to become moderately proficient with it and upwards of a decade of persistent learning to master. This is a far cry from say, Go, with which you can be proficient in a month and master in a year.
That said, now that I've glimpsed its speed and power, there's no going back. Fortunately there are a wealth of resources for learning the language, both in print and online. There are no shortage of (mostly) friendly experts out there willing to answer questions.
The learning process will be long, but it's been very satisfying so far.