The 18-year-old Nepali guy who developed Nepal’s first android game ‘NepKnox’
By Gopal Pun Magar
Photos by Anup Ale Magar
Today, most people believe that Nepali youths are spending their time with technology and bringing no productivities, but Niraj Tiwari has proved them wrong. The 18-year old recently developed NepKnox which he claims to be Nepal’s first adventurous android game.
In an interview with WAVE, Tiwari shared, “I used to be a technology geek since my childhood, and I used to get saddened by the fact that almost all popular games are developed by foreigners and Nepali people appear nowhere in such innovations. Since then, I had a dream to develop an android game which could represent our country, cultures, architectures, and landscapes.”
The passion for technology
Being passionate about technology from his school days, Tiwari used to dream if he could develop a game or an application one day by himself. Being well-aware about the fact that the knowledge on programming languages are must for developing games, he started learning basic coding languages by himself even before completing 10th standard.
After the completion of SEE (Secondary Education Examination), he left his hometown Birgunj and joined St. Xavier’s College in Kathmandu for his intermediate studies. Apart from the regular course studies, he used to learn and research a lot about programming and related stuff. The availability of good internet helped him to take online courses, build skills and develop hands-on in coding.
The development of NepKnox
As soon as Tiwari completed his +2 studies in August 2017, he started developing his first-ever android game from the last week of October 2017.
“Since I was developing this game all alone, it was being very difficult for me. Besides, I had no any formal education on coding and graphics designing, thus, I was struggling a lot with these subjects. Sometimes I used to feel so down that I had once thought to quit. But somehow, I managed to lift myself up in those arduous times,” recalls Tiwari.
After the continuous hard work, effort, and endurance for around 35 to 40 days, Tiwari was successful in developing Nepal’s first adventurous game ‘NepKnox’ and uploaded the game on Google Play Store on November 23, 2017. So far, the game has been downloaded around nine thousand times and is still counting.
When asked about the meaning of the game’s name, he said, “Nep represents ‘Nepal’ and ‘Knox’ is just the name I provided to the character of the game. Besides, the letter ‘K’ represents the flag of Nepal. I did this because I wanted to represent Nepal in the game. This is why I have designed the game with some Nepali landmarks like Dharahara, Pashupatinath Temple, Mt. Everest and others in the background.”
“THE SELF-LEARNT TIWARI HAD SUCCESSFULLY FOUND OUT AN ‘OPEN REDIRECT BUG’ IN INTEL WEBSITE TAKING PART IN INTEL BUG BOUNTY PROGRAM ON APRIL 10, 2018. FOR HIS WORK, INTEL CERTIFIED HIM AS ‘WHITEHAT HACKER’ ON APRIL 20, 2018.”
Tiwari has his hands-on not only in coding and developing applications but also in the cyber security sector. He was also interested in things like cyber-attacks and hacking, and his interest became intense when he heard the news of the swift server of NIC ASIA bank being hacked in November 2017.
As he wanted to explore the cyber thefts and security field as well, he learned network fundamentals, penetration testing, SQL database, vulnerability testing, and many more. With the help of these self-learned educations, he successfully found out an ‘open redirect bug’ in Intel website taking part in Intel bug bounty program on April 10, 2018; as a result, he was certified as ‘WhiteHat Hacker’ by Intel on April 20, 2018.
Future Plans and Dreams
Tiwari has already been granted with a visa for the United States of America for pursuing his higher studies in computer science. After completing his graduation and with few years of working experience, he wants to come back to Nepal and contribute for the betterment of the sectors he will be associating with. In future, he wants to develop more useful and reliable applications, own social media website, improve cybersecurity and do something that can help other poor Nepali children to have the quality education. Besides, Tiwari also dreams to work in ‘Google’ one day.
“WHILE DEVELOPING THE GAME, I’VE FAILED MANY TIMES BUT STILL MANAGED TO ACCOMPLISH IT. I LEARNT THAT NO GREAT THINGS HAPPEN AT ONE SHOT AND WE SHOULD FOCUS ON THE TASK AND WORK HARD WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT THE RESULTS. IF WE DO WHAT WE LOVE, SUCCESS IS NEVER FAR AWAY FROM US.”