The initial paragraph of the game card should introduce what the game is about
(science, spelling, math, etc...) and describe the goal of the game (i.e., find
all the parts you need to defeat Morty, the Master of Mischief, in a race). Any
supplies that are needed for the game should also be listed in this first
paragraph (e.g., dictionary, atlas, almanac, etc...). The game card should
indicate the instructions to play the game by either actually writing them onto
the game card, or indicating where these instructions can be found and read
(i.e., "read all the instructions on the screen").
The next section of the game card consists of 3 levels: Beginner, Good, and Expert. The 3 levels are constructed into 3 distinct columns of information regarding what needs to be done by the child in order to pass the particular level. Each level consists of game play activity, and then a subsequent consequence once the game play is completed, usually a writing activity (e.g., write to the wiz/pen pal, write a hint for the hints folder).
The Beginner level should be constructed so that every child (with or without assistance) can complete it in a single Fifth Dimension session (preferably w/in 1hr. maximum time). For example, many of the Beginner levels of the CARMEN SANDIEGO games call for the child to solve 1 case, or run out of time twice.
The Good and Expert levels should then slightly increase in difficulty. Often, the Expert level can require a lot of effort and work by the child, but will offer the reward of a FREE PASS as incentive to complete it.
Most importantly, the game card should be expected to evolve from when it is initially introduced into the MAZE. Encourage the children and Wizard Assistants to comment on the composition of the game card; Is a level too hard/easy? Does it leave any instructions out? Is it easily understood what each level requires? Then, be ready to alter the game card as needed.
One last thing to remember: Make the game card for its audience...the children!! Lots of fun icons & tips from the Wiz help!