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First, you need to distinguish between in-game assets, and the source models in Maya, Photoshop, etc.

For the latter, most large games use an asset management system. Either homebrew, or something like Alienbrain. (Well, people used Alienbrain when I left. Not sure what's hip these days)

For in-game, there's usually a fairly strict organizational scheme. It depends on the game, but usually folders are about "location" - which map, which part of the world, which episode, etc. Asset names indicate a name, and various other bits like left/right hand hold, color, or whatever matters for that asset.

It's usually the lead artists job to come up with said scheme, unless you have a tech lead for the asset pipeline.

If you look for assets, you do a search in the asset management system, which also contains the in-game name and location.

For smaller games, you make do by manually organizing, but as things grow, you'll start hand-rolling tools.




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