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After spending two years in a tiny island nation called Kiribati (pronounced kee-ree-bas) I fell in love with the amazing people and their culture. I'm making this game in homage to them. Based around a fun Polynesian fighting game. You will learn about the people, language, culture, and legends of Kiribati while exploring the island of Butaritari.

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Most people I’ve met have never heard of it before. You probably also didn’t know that it’s actually pronounced kee-ree-bess. The ti makes an s sound.

(Source: worldatlas.com)

Kiribati is a tiny island nation located in the middle of the Pacific, straddling the equator and, until recently, the international dateline. It consists of tiny islands called atolls which average only 2 meters above sea level. The capital island, Tarawa, is the most developed, although it still lacks many basic needs. It also has an overpopulation problem. The outer islands are much more remote, the majority lacking electricity, toilets, and access to proper medical care. Malnutrition and diabetes are also serious problems throughout Kiribati.

A bathroom in Abarao, Tarawa

I spent two years in Kiribati, divided between several different islands: Tarawa, Butaritari, Onotoa, and Nikunau. Though the living conditions were certainly tough, this was easily outweighed by the love I developed for these people and their culture. Despite such humble circumstances, they are an incredibly happy people and treat guests very warmly.

So great was my love for the people of Kiribati, that I not only wanted to do something for them, but I also wanted to help the world see something that we were missing out on. Over my time in Kiribati, I realized that they have something that we don’t have. Something that money can’t buy. And my goal was to help others get just a glimpse of that.

Kids in Tabuarorae, Onotoa

Me with a family in Nikumanu, Nikunau

Kiribati Dancing

Because of my background in programming, I figured what better way for me to create awareness of Kiribati than through a mobile game. I set out to make a game that would take place within the islands of Kiribati, highlighting the culture and language, while following a fun story dotted with Kiribati mythology. The idea for Kan Rebe! was born.

KanRebe Logo

“Kan rebe” (pronounced kahn reh-beh) is a phrase that, loosely translated into English, means to want to fight or to like fighting. The battles in Kan Rebe! are centered around a Polynesian fighting game, hence the title.

My game is still very much in the development phase, but I will be posting regular progress updates, as well as facts about Kiribati and how I am incorporating them into my game. With the release of Kan Rebe!, my hope is to not only raise awareness of Kiribati (very few people know it exists and thus doesn't receive the aid it deserves), but to also provide support for basic needs in Kiribati through the funds received from my game.

If you want to learn more about Kiribati, I recommend savekiribati.com.

Ti a bo! (Goodbye)


(Original post: jschoeny.com/kanrebe/kan-rebe-a-tribute-to-kiribati)

Koro Karewe - Keeping Players Playing

Koro Karewe - Keeping Players Playing

Design/Concepts Tutorial

The koro karewe is very important in the Kiribati culture. Here I discuss how I implemented this into my game while looking at what makes a game addictive...

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Kan Rebe!
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Latest tweets from @jaredschoeny

Did you know Kan Rebe! will also be the first game ever to be translated into the #Kiribati 🇰🇮 language? #gamedevT.co

Feb 18 2019

Here’s a look at some of the things you can do in the Kan Rebe! game, all based on real-life #Kiribati 🇰🇮 activitie… T.co

Feb 16 2019

My #Kickstarter for Kan Rebe! goes live on 26 Feb, a game aiming to raise awareness of the poor island nation of… T.co

Feb 14 2019

Updated the look of the title screen. #KanRebe #gamedev #indiedev #pixelart #Kiribati T.co

Feb 12 2019

I just made a title screen for my #KanRebe! game. Went for a 🔥fiery feel. What do you think? #gamedev #indiedevT.co

Feb 9 2019

I’m releasing a #Kickstarter for #KanRebe later this month. Please RT to spread the word. We’re going to put… T.co

Feb 9 2019

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