Founder of Team Expiration, Freelance Writer, Content Creator, and Professional Game Master

An Interview With Shiina, Fortnite Data Miner

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The following interview occuring over Discord on December 7, 2021.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

Alright! My name is Tim, on Twitter I’m known as Shiina/ShiinaBR & I mostly post content that revolves around Fortnite datamining.

Let’s talk more about that. When did you start playing Fortnite, and what got you into datamining?

I started playing Fortnite in early 2018 during Chapter 1 - Season 2! The first contact I’ve had with datamining/leaking were some Instagram videos by one of the first leakers called “JH9”. He posted videos of unreleased emotes, with one of them being a “Praise The Sun” emote, which is an easter egg to the very popular Dark Souls games.

After seeing this emote, a friend and I really wanted to get this emote in our own game, so we looked for ways to get unreleased emotes into our own games until we finally had success. After this I decided to create my own Twitter account to post videos of unreleased emotes myself, which I’m still doing till this day.

How have your mining methods changed over the years?

Back in 2018 things were way simpler than they are nowadays. Back then, I could just start a tool called “Fiddler” and edit some things in this tool to make unreleased cosmetics appear in the game. Later in 2018, this way of getting unreleased cosmetics in your own locker was sadly fixed, though.

Nowadays, people need to use “bypasses” to make tools like “Fiddler” still work with the game. Without said bypasses, people would just get kicked out of the game when trying to run tools of this kind. On top of that, I now use a “custom version” (in the datamining community, this is often called “private server”) that I connect to if I want to see any unreleased cosmetics In-Game. When using this custom version of the game, I never actually connect to the official Fortnite servers, which makes it also possible to start the game during downtime, which should normally not be possible.

All of this is just related to the In-Game part of leaking. I also use tools like “FModel” to actually datamine upcoming content in the files of the game itself. FModel is an open-source tool made by a few very awesome people in the datamining community. Without this tool and without these people, Fortnite datamining would not nearly be as developed as it is nowadays!

How often to you communicate with other dataminers in the community?

Pretty much daily!

What does your daily routine look like for mining Fortnite content?

Apart from days where the game gets updated (which normally happens every 2 weeks), there is no real routine. Nowadays, there are so-called “tracking” bots that keep track and notify leakers of most changes that happen outside of game updates (e.g. these bots track when hotfixes happen).

Because of these bots, dataminers don’t have to search everything manually every single day, which has as a consequence that there is no real routine. The only thing that happens 100% every day at the exact same time is that dataminers can get the “shop sections” of new Item Shops 2 hours before they are visible in the game. These shop sections give us an early glimpse at what we’ll get in the upcoming Item Shop refresh.

How much, if any, contact do you have officially, or unofficially, with the Fortnite development team/Epic Games?

Officially, I have no contact with Epic Games. Rarely, there might be a short conversation with someone who works at Epic Games but that definitely isn’t something that happens often.

What was prepping information for Chapter 3 like? How much info did you hold back in order to keep some suspense and surprise for players?

I knew almost nothing because I wanted to be surprised myself, haha. I had the chance to find out some things, but I actively tried not to get much information.

One of the only things I knew about was the release of Spider-Man, which I also tweeted about in the middle of November.

Do you see yourself remaining active in the datamining community? What are you plans for the future?

I’ll definitely stay active in the datamining community and Fortnite community in general. The game has a bright future: Battle Royale has some bright years ahead of it & the Creative 2.0 mode will completely re-define the mode as we know it. Fortnite is here to stay and so am I!

My plans for the future are to get more into content creation myself instead of “just” doing datamining-related things and outside of the social media world I also have a lot of plans for 2022 and beyond, but that’s something I’d like to keep a secret for now. 🙂

Well I hope to catch up again once you’re ready to release that information! So, where can folks find you online?

You can find me on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram under the name “ShiinaBR” - I hope I can interact with y’all in the future!

Before we go. Anything else you like to add?

I definitely want to thank you for this interview opportunity, I had a blast chatting with you! Likewise, I also hope everyone reading this article enjoyed it as much as I did!