Last week I joined the International Game Designers Association ‘SAZ’ (Spiele-Autoren-Zunft). Seems appropriate with 2 game publications coming up… My first impressions are good. A personal welcome, an international oriented website in English (mostly) and the managing director Christian Beiersdorf explained all the topics they tackle on behalf of game authors worldwide.
Besides insights there are services that can be uses as a member, really useful when you are relatively new in the industry and lack certain knowledge or savvy. Their membership sure seems to offer a lot (for members only, by the way).
Topics they taken on are for example taxing laws, whether game authors create work that is creative, just like book authors (this can make quite a difference in royalties earned). And they negotiate for (transparant) standards in publishing contracts. They give members advice on publishing contracts and the SAZ is a network to share insights, work et cetera.
So, this seems like the meta cooperative game: working together to be better at making games. If you are an analogue game designer (author), check them out and consider membership. Of course, feel free to approach me, for example at testing nights, to hear more about it.
Read recommendations by high-profile authors on their promotional flyer: SAZ Promotional Flyer (English).
And some information of their website:
The “Game Designers Association” (SAZ) represents the interests of game designers to the public as well as to publishers and other work users. It supports game designers and campaigns for a stronger recognition of games as a cultural property in our society.
The SAZ is a strong community with many advantages for its members. Founded in 1991, it now represents more than 400 members in Germany and abroad. Although the main area of activity is in Germany, the SAZ is gaining an international character through its multitude of members from other countries.
The diverse fields of activity of the SAZ: The counseling of our members and the promotion of the exchange of experience are an important focus. This includes, if required, negotiations with publishers for fair contractual conditions. As co-organizers of the Game Designers Meeting in Göttingen, we are promoting platforms that bring together game designers and game publishers. On the political side, we advocate a fair framework for cultural activities as well as copyright, tax and social security laws. In addition, we support further training activities for the professionalization of our members.