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Conversations with Vincent Baker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vincent Baker. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Vincent Baker grew up in a small town with no stop lights.

When he was a young boy, his father took him into the city. It wasn’t to see a marching band, but to play in card game tournaments!

Vincent was raised with JRPGs and trading card games baked into his D.N.A.!

In high school, Vincent was nominated for student entrepreneur and won his school business competition.

He’s since been asked to represent Entrepreneurship for Anderson SC and to speak at schools across the state. He’s also worked with 2K for a Borderlands Event at PAX East and with premier gaming groups Hunters Entertainment and MAMS Gaming. Additionally, he’s received work as a paid board game consultant.

Through Vindicated, Vincent has published three tabletop RPGs (Otherworlds, Legendaria, A Bittersweet Trick or Treat), four card games (Spellslingers, Ghoullotine, Heads or Tails, and Bullet), eleven expansions (Spellslingers X Otherworlds, Spellslingers: Lunar Warrior Luna, four Otherworlds expansions, and five Legendaria add-ons), and several fanmade creations such as tabletop RPGs for the popular Borderlands, Yu-Gi-Oh, and My Hero Academia franchises.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Smooth? My path has been anything but. It feels like I’ve been riding on the moon, but as if it had Earth’s gravity and I’m hitting all the craters and tumbling around like a pinball in a broken arcade cabinet.

I’ll throw out some random examples.

I had a “friend” who was living with me, stealing all the money from my first business. It was around a thousand dollars, which for a nineteen-year-old was everything to me. Since then, I’ve had some people in my life be pretty judgmental of my lifestyle; primarily my hard work ethic.

But, the biggest struggle I’ve had has been having mega-corporation competitors “battle me” and try and squash me. I’ve had my published work imitated, social media handles taken, threatened, and more.

Definitely not fun but hopefully that part of things will hopefully be done and dealt with. I have enough stories to make you believe I was in my eighties, but I’m not even thirty yet! In all seriousness, I’ve definitely had some rough times. Just yesterday, we had some things stolen from a show I was at!

But, despite all of that, I believe in remaining hopeful and leading by example. I believe when you put good work out there, it helps others and if I’m helping other people, that’s enough to make me happy, regardless of what others may do or try and do to me.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I wear many hats.

I primarily design games and handle all the main aspects of the business (manage, market, network, ideas, etc.)

Creatively however I also write, illustrate, do concept art, make videos, and host gaming events at conventions and game stores.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
On a personal level, I learned that I can handle working from home very well. I can manage my time and be self-motivated and Covid-19 was a true test of that since I was stuck at home for a while.

On more of a business level, it showed me just how important it is to be able to work remotely and to also have businesses set up to be able to handle remote work.

I don’t think remote work is for everyone, but I do think many businesses could greatly benefit from having more remote opportunities, which would give them access to more talent or even make some of their employees a lot happier, being able to not feel like they’re wasting time in an office if they’d prefer to work from home sometimes.

Being primarily in the tabletop gaming space, put us in a weird scenario because we believe games are more fun when being physically together with other people.

I don’t even like playing tabletop games digitally most of the time, so, it’s definitely a balancing act between meeting in person, working together face to face, and doing so remotely.

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