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My brother is currently playing the game Songs of Skydale and ran into this puzzle. There's a sequence of 3 patterns in the top row and you have to figure out which of the options in the bottom row is the fourth. He guessed the correct answer but we still don't understand the solution.

We tried messing with rotating and translating the quadrants of the patterns, assigning the dots to a number system, and even thought maybe the number of empty spaces would match the Fibonacci sequence. Nothing we tried that worked between the first and second patterns worked between the second and third patterns.

Any ideas? This isn't a game based on these puzzles. This is a minor aspect to the game, so I wouldn't think it should be very hard. I'm probably missing something obvious!

Screenshot of the puzzle

The answer:

number 1

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The dots move in a direction until they hit a side of the square or another dot. The direction the dots are moving rotates anticlockwise each step. The top dot in the first square begins by moving left, eventually hitting the left wall. The direction it moves rotates anticlockwise from left to down for the next square, and it moves down until it hits the bottom side of the square. Finally, the direction it moves rotates from down to right, and the dot moves right until it hits the right side of the square. The initial direction for the other two dots is right. They both move right until they hit the right side of the square. Then for the second square, their direction rotates anticlockwise from right to up. They move up and the top dot hits the top side of the square, while the bottom dot runs into the dot above it. Finally, the direction they move rotates from up to left, and the dots move left until they hit the left side of the square.

solution

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The pattern I see is:
1-2 Moves the dots horizontally (as far as possible in a random? direction.)
2-3 Moves the dots vertically
3-4 'Moves the dots horizontally again' can only yield 1

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