Thanks for your comments. That's exactly what I was afraid of.
On the bright side, once you get the hang of it - it's a fairly easy and standard process for most shaders
and, you'll never want to go back!
All those fancy things you see in all the other games out there are within your grasp
And there are many many tutorials for getting started with shaders.
Edit: If you get stuck on anything with either creating or loading shaders just write up a post with the specific issue