Yesterday I asked this question: Why is there a hash/checksum in the top left corner in fortnite?

I just noticed that some people have tried to close it for the reason:

Questions about Game Design and Development are off topic. This includes speculative questions about developer intent, with respect to both mechanics and narrative. You might want to ask over at GameDev.SE, but be sure to read their FAQ

(As a disclaimer, I did re-read https://gaming.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic before asking)

I'm not asking how to develop a game, so I suppose the closers think the question is speculative?

While the 1 answer that is given is speculative (though it's a good answer), I don't see why the question would be. For instance, I'm not asking "Why was X design decision made (over Y)".

I'm simply asking about the purpose of a feature of the game. I would compare it to people asking "What is this icon on my screen" , it's just that the purpose of the screen element I'm asking about is more meta to the game.

I'm still waiting for someone that can give a definitive answer, maybe something like: "Yes this is explained over here: <quote>".

Is my question off-topic? What's wrong with my reasoning?

  • 3
    That VTC-reason has been extensively used whenever a reviewer feels that "only the developer would know this". Sometimes I feel some people ommit the "only" part of it too...
    – DJ Pirtu
    Feb 21, 2018 at 12:32

1 Answer 1


I think your question is fine. It's true that a developer would be easily able to definitively explain what the number is used for, but since the game is publicly available, theoretically anyone could do some testing to try to figure out what the number could be used for. As long as they provide evidence, a non-dev answer could be perfectly acceptable in this case.

I think part of the reason you're attracting close votes is because of the title of the question, "Why is there a hash/checksum in the top left corner in fortnite?". Technically, the why is something only a developer can answer - they're the ones that decided to put it there in the first place, after all. However, it's obvious in the body of the question that you're asking what the number represents, which (as I've explained above) should be just fine to ask.

  • 1
    Thanks for the response! I've re-titled the question to : "What is this hash/checksum number in the top left corner in fortnite?" Hopefully that will make the intent clearer. Feb 21, 2018 at 22:01
  • This answer kinda highlights that sometimes valid questions are closed, when they could just be lightly edited to be clearer. Maybe those initiating the close votes can be more careful to make sure they are understanding the intent of the question, not just latching on to one word (e.g. 'why'). If in doubt, ask for clarification first, then VTC after OP gets a chance to reword it.
    – Selvek
    Mar 9, 2018 at 15:44

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