I took out the function1 in the Arduino Code and made the "clear" print through both serial and UDP. It really does act like a proximity sensor and makes it simple to get the colour sensor to ignore sensing ambient light. It will be helpful in that I don't have to sample the ambient light for my twister mat piece, and make it so it more accurately recognizes green. (hopefully, I still need to test).
I also realized that in order for the data to print through serial, the ESP8266 has to first make the wireless connection. The router can be unplugged after the connection is made and the ESP8266 can still print out the data through serial, it just needs the initial connection. This was the same with TRAVIS I. I figured out that what is happening, since it couldn't connect to the network, it was stuck printing out "..........", which is what it is supposed to do. If I commented that part of the code out, then it works fine through serial without having to first make a wireless connection. The only downside is there is now nothing to show me that it is clearly a wireless issue. However, the dots wouldn't show clearly in Max regardless, so it doesn't make a difference for how I'm using it.
Since I took out function1, I renamed frunction2 as function1, and function3 as function2.
If you are looking for a summary for my Masters thesis, it is here.