On this page, I'd like to compare RPG Maker MV and Wolf RPG engine.
Now, I realize there is RPG Maker MZ. However, MZ and MV are virtually identical bar some improvements, none of which addresses my issues of games being pirated and exported to other systems. Thus, MZ remains to be unusable for me.
For your information, I had used MV for about 3 years and have spent about 2 years with Wolf RPG engine. Therefore, I am in a good position to compare the two.
1. 30fps versus 60fps - Wolf wins this one. 0-1
If you've ever built a big and busy map on MV, you may have noticed that it lags in game. There was no fix to that issue, and nobody really knew why. People simply guessed that it was due to either game being unoptimized or a limitation of MV using basically a web browser to emulate a game.
I, too, had no clue, and I was also experiencing screen lag with Wolf engine as well. However -
Then I saw this option on Wolf engine. Look at top, next to "Screen dimentions". It lets you choose between 30fps and 60fps. When I chose 60fps, the lag vanished, completely. This led me to a conclusion that MV engine was artifically limiting its game at 30fps.
2. Sprite fluidity - Wolf wins this one. 0-2
In MV as well as MZ, a sprite moves in one slot and its direnction is limited to 4, up-down-left-right. Basically, 4 directions. Now, look at the screensot above. You will see the engine allowing 8 directions and 0.5 slot movement. This makes sprite movements a lot smooth.
Arguably, this requires more work per sprite. But it is worth it. Characters move really smoothly in the game.
Noticeably, if you look at the first screenshot, it even allows 5 frame animation for sprites. I felt this would be too much work for me.
3. Expendability - MV/MZ wins. 1-2
MV and MZ have plugins. Thousands of them. Wolf RPG engine probably has some but they are all in Japanese and I can't use them.
On the other hand, Wolf engine lets you touch core aspects of the engine within the application.
Note that I am not a programmer. I know absolutely zip about programming. Still, I am able to manipulate some aspects of Wolf engine still by basically inspecting the codes. There are two features I added into the game by manipulating the core codes. One is battleback. The other is map wise passive damage without using states.
All in all, Wolf engine requires its user to be more adventurous. If you want something, you have to work for it since there appears to be no English community for Wolf engine.
4. Engine features - Wolf wins this one. 1-3
RPG Maker MV itself is really barebone. If you count plugins out, it is really barebone.
On the other hand, Wolf engine has some important features that are already built in whereas you'd be forced to use plugins for MV.
Those two are the big ones in my book. Some minor ones are tied to point 3 where I explained that I am able to alter core aspects of Wolf engine within its application. An ability to add something like "powered by" screen before a main game screen can easily be added in Wolf.
At the same time, one could argue that plugins are so easy to use that whether it's already integrated or not is moot which I somewhat agree. Strictly speaking though, Wolf engine at its core has more features out of the box.
5. Availability - Objectively, I will say MV wins this. Not for me though. Read on. 2-3
If you've read "Why I dropped MV", my reasons for dropping MV is directly tied to this.
In MV, you are able to export your game to numerous platforms: Windows, Mac, Linuix, and finally Android. This is only possible because MV games are basically a complex web browser game. And a web browser is a common thing across all platforms. In short, you are able to cover a wide range of audiences with MV.
In contrast, Wolf RPG engine is for Windows only. It does not export to any other systems. Therefore, objectively, MV wins. Subjectively though, this is exactly why I've chosen Wolf engine. As noted in my other article "Why I dropped MV", I dropped MV because pirates were exporting my games to Android with embedded ads.
Pirates are able to do this because of two factors. One is noted here. MV can export to other platforms. Two is that it's too easy to use that pirates can learn how to manipulate pirated materials with ease.
I do not target Android users. My games aren't designed for small screens. So, subjectively, Wolf engine's inability to export to other platforms is a bonus for me. Wolf engine is also not as user friendly as MV/MZ which is a bonus factor in my specific case.
6. RTP - MV wins. 3-3
RTP is both a blessing and a curse for RPG maker series. RTP is basically art assets that comes with RPG maker engines. This makes starting out really easy. The downside is that so many people end up relying on RTP that almost all games look identical.
Now, there are commercial assets but those cost money. One could make their own art assets, but I've found that those who use RPG maker generally do not have the skills to make their own assets.
Wolf RPG engine has no RTP. It doesn't come with any assets. This inherently makes starting out with Wolf engine harder.
Now, I am going to point out that RPG Maker MV and Wolf RPG engine are functionally identical. Both do the same things in very different ways. MV/MZ are not free whereas Wolf is.
I am also going to point out that I was forced to switch to Wolf engine due to MV's ease of export. I did not want to switch. I was forced to.
I was able to make the switch only because I was already working on my own art assets. If you use MV or even MZ and heavily rely on provided RTP, you will be stuck.