Rising Star: SIDE’s Trisha Francis: “There’s nothing quite like seeing my name in a game that I have previously played and then having the opportunity to work on the latest instalment”

Trisha Francis, production assistant at SIDE, talks about moving from the NHS to audio production after a long and patient period applying for industry roles

How did you break into games?

I actually applied for the role of a facilities assistant at SIDE and was pleasantly surprised to hear that, due to my experience within the NHS, I was being considered for the audio production assistant role. The reason I applied to SIDE was their catalogue of titles they have worked on is extremely impressive – I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of it!

I worked in the NHS for 15 years, but during this time I always had expectations for myself to break into the gaming industry. I’ve always had a passion for games and, when the opportunity arose from SIDE, I didn’t hesitate to take the risk to join as an audio production assistant. The biggest challenge I personally faced transitioning from the NHS was adjusting to the environment. However, I feel that I am very open in terms of learning and will usually find my feet very quickly.

What has been your proudest achievement so far?

My proudest achievement to date is seeing my name affiliated for the first time in the credits of a game that I have worked on with the production team. There’s nothing quite like seeing my name in a game that I have previously played and then having the opportunity to work on the latest instalment. I remember playing the original Hitman game back 2000 – so having the pleasure to work on Hitman 3 was quite an achievement in my eyes.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

The biggest challenge for me was realising that the scope and scale of the gaming industry was bigger than I had first imagined, but I am grateful for that experience as it has become a great learning curve for me. With the help and constant support of my colleagues at SIDE I was able to overcome these challenges and continue to develop my skills on a daily basis.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

There are always different aspects of my role that constantly challenge, educate, and inspire me to do better. It’s the gratitude and the appreciation I receive from either my colleagues or service providers that lets me know I’m doing a good job, which makes me want to continue doing what I do to a higher standard.

What’s your biggest ambition in games?

My biggest ambition in games is to continue to work on different projects, learn and progress as far as I can with the intention of becoming a senior production manager. I would also like to offer advice, mentoring and experience to others entering the industry via this route.

What advice would you give to an aspiring audio production assistant?

Preparation! It is vital to gather as much information as you can about the company you wish to be part of. Before my interview, I spent days gathering information about titles SIDE have worked on, awards they had won and the services that they provide.

Prior to landing my role at SIDE, I spent ten years applying for jobs in the gaming industry, so my best advice is to always stay positive and never give up. Always be open and willing to learn and you will go far!

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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