Thanks for the OP Sid.
First, congrats on your qualification to worlds! As a competitor at Google, I can testify that your programming skills routine was one of the best and cleanest I’ve seen all year, and a small field variance shouldn’t have caused it to malfunction. But massive overexposure to direct sunlight? That’ll do it.
There was a similar problem at SD states. The fields were set up backwards, so the flags faced the same direction as the red and blue bleachers and the event staff, who were all wearing red shirts. One team with a vision sensor asked event staff if he could purchase a big white sheet to put behind the skills field, which would help his vision sensor. The event staff gave him the ok, so his adult adviser went out and bought a huge paper sheet. Upon the adviser’s return a few hours later, the event staff changed their mind and said he could not put the sheet behind the field, and then denied that they had ever said he could.
So obviously we can point fingers and accuse individual people of being idiots and so on, but I think this reflects a bigger problem. There need to be guidelines in place for standard fields. Lighting, background, properties of game elements, quality of floor tiles, etc. In games like ITZ and SS, antistatic on the field floors significantly changed gameplay, this year the variable stiffness of flags has led to a lot of inconsistency, and of course bathing a field in direct sunlight when teams rely on color, line, and vision sensors is absurd. Vex needs to put guidelines in place and make their products correctly, and the adults that host events need to be responsive to the requests of students, who are ultimately a lot more invested in the program than most of them are.
I’ll be leaving this program in a month and a half, but a lot of people here will be in vex for another year, two, or five. Getting these things right would be awesome.