Welcome to Utility Muffin Labs
Nathan Siever and Robert Batton make up the core creative team behind Utility Muffin Labs. The foundations of Utility Muffin Labs start back in the early 2000's when the two met at a local Live Action Role-Playing game. For over a decade, Nathan and Robert worked together creating rich worlds and storytelling role-playing games for many hundreds of people, both in local and regional games.
What is Utility Muffin Labs?
The labs started as a personal website for Nathan Siever in 2014. Primarily, it was intended as an extended Résumé, housing his artwork, audio production and video production work. After graduating from Illinois Media School, Nathan teamed with Robert to begin making podcasts. In 2015, the two launched their first podcast, Nerd Words, which primarily focused on pop-culture, video games, movies and table-top RPGs. After a year, the two launched their second podcast, 25 Years of Vampire: the Masquerade, focusing on extended reviews of the entire catalogue of Vampire: the Masquerade game books, in order of release.
Now, Utility Muffin Labs release two podcasts a week, various additional audio production work, artwork and run an online-based Vampire: the Masquerade game with 40+ players and growing. With over 10,000 podcast subscribers as of October, 2017, Utility Muffin Labs are getting bigger every day!
Nathan is an avid gamer, film buff, toy collector, music addict, poster enthusiast, book reader, comic nerd and champion of pop-culture. For over 20 years, Nathan has lived and breathed nerd culture, and has been playing and running table-top and live action role-playing games since grade school. In 2014, he founded Utility Muffin Labs as a personal website to share his artwork and writing. In the three years since its foundation, it has grown and evolved into a multi-media and podcasting site, attracting thousands of new gaming and podcast enthusiasts every month. His personal influences come from: Musicians like Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart (hence the name, Utility Muffin Labs - a play on Frank Zappa's recording studio), authors like Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, and Clive Barker, Film Directors such as David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese and Artists such as Alex Gray, Zdzisław Beksiński, Jecek Yerka, and Timothy Bradstreet.
Nathan is a graduate of Illinois Media School.
Robert comes to us from a long history of being a white-wolf fan and storyteller for over 20+ years. He is passionate and insightful when it comes to Vampire and its many versions. Robert is most familiar with Vampire, Werewolf and Wraith from the Old World of Darkness. His library of the entire Vampire: “The Masquerade”, first through V20 and the entire Vampire: Requiem line is testament to his dedication. For a decade, he captivated an audience of 113 Live Action Role-Players for Vampire: “The Masquerade,” using the Mind’s Eye Theatre system. He has told stories for Vampire LARPs at Gen-Con for five years and is determined to run the “perfect Game.” As a horror film fan his entire life, Bob has always wanted to write and create a world where he could express what he enjoys about the genre. Clive Barker, Anne Rice, Stephen King. H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley and many, many more are the mentors he keeps in his dark imagination.
Rachel M. Ryszard
A classically trained nerd, Rachel is passionate about sharing the many geekdoms she’s curated over the years. She draws inspiration from the worlds created by visionaries like: Neil Gaimen, Michael Crichton, J.K. Rowling, Gene Roddenberry, Guillermo Del Toro, and Jim Henson. When she isn’t fighting the dinosaurs, goblins, and ghouls imagined by her heroes, Rachel enjoys tippity-tapping away at her computer inventing worlds of her own. She loves science, and is on a constant quest to learn more about our world. As a student of the martial arts, she is serious about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and striking a balance between gaming and physical exercise. You can hear Rachel regularly on the Playing Hooky Podcast and follow her on Twitter @rachelisscience and Instagram @racheloutside.