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SAZ (Spiele-Autoren-Zunft e.V.) and other Boardgame Clubs

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postworld
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Joined: 08/02/2015

I would like to know if some of you have a membership in a Game Designer Club, like the SAZ (which is a Club of Designers in Germany, Austria and I guess some other lands).

Do you have a membership in such a club?
Are there any clubs like that in your area?
Why are you in such a club?

I am not in a club like these, but I was recently thinking about a membership, to get more in contact with other designers, use online lectures which are provided and stuff like that.

What`s your opinion about this?

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Yes

I strongly-recommend you join one of these groups if you have the chance. There are a number of good reasons, for instance:

  • You meet other people enthusiastic about game design who want to talk about the topic all the time
  • You set up a routine/schedule to regularly meet others to talk about game design
  • Willing playtesters!
  • Build your social and business network in a field that is interesting to you and part of your future

When I first entered game design (in my case it is currently more a hobby than a business pursuit), I quickly learned of local groups I could connect with. Until the pandemic, the main group I am part of had missed only one monthly meeting in its 10+ year history. Several members of the group are/were multi-title, published designers.

Things have changed quite a bit due to the pandemic, and we've not met as a group in almost a year. But I still connect with a handful of them personally because we've become friends.

postworld
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Joined: 08/02/2015
More information

You are absolute right about the reasons to joing a regular gaming group.

But my question relates more to an organization that stands up for game designer and also demands a monthly (or annual) contribution.

Also helps with law issues and a publishing contract and stuff like that.

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Investment

In this case, you're not only investing your time (the only true limited resource in the world at the moment), but also your money. I suggest you don't judge it by the price, for the moment.

You can always make more money. But it's time that can't be replaced. In fact, consider money as the end result of time used to generate that much money. In that sense, is the time spent on this membership worth it? Only you can answer that.

Any group membership should be considered as such. Do you identify with them, and believe in the mission of the group? Do you want to see the group continue? Does your investment eventually make its way back to you, in enough of an amount so that you don't feel like your time has been wasted?

Do you personally know anyone else who is part of that group? What do they think? Or, do you have a good friend who is willing to pay up and become part of this group along with you?

If I knew you had the money to spare I'd say go for a year's membership and see how you feel about it then. I don't mean to dodge the question - though I suspect I have. :)

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Calculate the VALUE to YOU

postworld wrote:
...But my question relates more to an organization that stands up for game designer and also demands a monthly (or annual) contribution.

Depending on how HIGH the monthly fee, you can figure out if the services that are provided are "useful" to YOU and how much it would COST YOU to look elsewhere for those services...

postworld wrote:
Also helps with law issues and a publishing contract and stuff like that.

Well figure a lawyer is about $250 to $500 per HOUR and probably a minimum of 1 hour for a consultation. So if the fee is less than the amount you would spend on legal fees ... Is it worth it? Does this "group" also have a monthly get together where you can playtest games too?? Or is it just an organization which is there to assist Designers when they have questions or need answers to Self-Publishing issues???

I don't know what KIND of "club" you are talking about. Because I knew of some local groups that would get together every month. That lasted for a bit and all of a sudden stopped (people stopped coming to the bar and that was the end of that "club")... It was a Game Bar where you could play various games with other players/friends.

We used to have a small group of 5 people that all enjoyed "Designing" but that group had a Yahoo Group account until Yahoo terminated the group accounts! I don't know what that group is doing anymore... I am not active with it... So I guess there may be 4 of them now...

In any event if the GROUP is not "temporal" (meaning that they have been around for many, many YEARS ...) it is probably worthwhile to join. That's my opinion on the matter.

Note #1: As a Canadian ... I find it challenging in Quebec because there is an organization called "Game Artisans of Canada" which has chapters in all the provinces EXCEPT "Quebec". Quebec has it's own language and unique "culture" and the services offered to French-speaking Designers is ORGANIZED in Quebec. For the English in Montreal... Well that is non-existent in terms of having some kind of organization in Quebec which deals with helping English Game Designers.

So there is this "fracture" in Quebec which means that culturally speaking they stick to their own and promote their own products in a language of their own...

Note #2: Also ... you should look for LOCAL organizations... People you can MEET and discuss your needs: is it self-publishing support, review of publisher contracts, review of manufacturing contracts, playtesting groups, designer resources (Graphic Designers, Artists and Illustrator), startup assistance (Corporate), etc.

Local is best because LAWS vary from one place in the world to another. Since you are in Berlin, I would recommend you join SAZ. They are a German Club and you too are a German Citizen ...

Different countries have different views of the Design industry. Some countries value the industry with higher standards as a form of cultural attachment. Other countries only see it as children pass-times, and others see it as a form of Entertainment, etc.

postworld
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Joined: 08/02/2015
SAZ

The fee for a non-published designed is 60 euro in the first year and it also comes with some discounts for at least 3 fairs (a design fair in göttingen, the game fair in nürnberg and the game fair in essen (the spiel).

I am not sure if one of these will be hosted this year but essen, because of corona but I have high hopes for the Spiel, because it is in octobre..

I have seen in Wikipedia that SAZ calls itself an international Game Designers Association, also I am sure it is is mostly working in germany.

I am interested in the online workshops, which are also in english.. next one is "SAZ Academy - Online Prototype Testing", which is in 4 days.. enough time to decide what to do :D

questccg
questccg's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Seems like you already made your decision!

postworld wrote:
The fee for a non-published designed is 60 euro in the first year and it also comes with some discounts for at least 3 fairs (a design fair in göttingen, the game fair in nürnberg and the game fair in essen (the spiel).

Well at least the offer something in return for the monies... Discounts to events that INTEREST you ... certainly have VALUE!

postworld wrote:
I am not sure if one of these will be hosted this year but Essen, because of corona but I have high hopes for the Spiel, because it is in October...

We expect the general public to get vaccinated by the Summer 2021. So this means that Fall 2021 might see a resurgence of activities including cons and expositions.

postworld wrote:
I have seen in Wikipedia that SAZ calls itself an international Game Designers Association, also I am sure it is is mostly working in Germany.

Like I said, LAWS are different from one country to another. I would be very surprised if they have legal assistance outside of Germany. They may have a referral option to help network and connect with resources outside of Germany... That sounds reasonable and possible.

postworld wrote:
I am interested in the online workshops, which are also in English.. next one is "SAZ Academy - Online Prototype Testing", which is in 4 days.. enough time to decide what to do :D

Well you seem to have a couple of days to make up your mind. But it sounds to me ... That the 60 euros may be worth the value that the SAZ is already offering. Please do tell us how the workshop goes... Your thoughts on the event. That would be cool.

If you have any other questions, feel free to post them and our community will do its best to address them. Cheers!

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