Yeah, I’m aware of how the zone idea works and it’s what I originally thought of when I began thinking about personal spaces – coming from Towns I’ve used exactly the same system and it works pretty well!
Unfortunately, it is still open to some… “interesting” edge-cases. Many players would probably think they’re fair, but some might consider them abuse; and either way they can just look downright weird. A perfect example: if you make a massive room you can put heaps of personal zones next to each other and create a public dormitory, but since each occupant has their own “full” personal space (i.e. you can include a minimum size, furniture requirement, or whatever else as a balancing factor) they act like they have proper individual rooms rather than a massive shared space. Now, that might not be a problem for some players since there’s still a cost to balance things; but it’s not quite the spirit/intention of the feature.
What I’m suggesting is to assign the whole building, using the building GUI, rather than adding a new system. The reason I suggest this is that buildings already know which furniture items are attached to them, so it’s easier to make them “propagate” that ownership than it would be to make a zone do the same thing. Of course it’s probably not hard for the team to make a zone do it; but when I come up with suggestions I like to make them work as much as possible with existing systems because I know that games always have a long to-do list and anything to help with that makes it easier to get the suggestion accepted hahah.
The reason I’m supporting buildings rather than zones is that, overall, I think it’s simpler for players to use; and actually a little more flexible than zones, while being the easiest option to implement AFAIK (but then I’m no expert lol.) By having a singe button in the building’s individual menu/GUI, just like how we currently assign beds to hearthlings, it becomes easier to build a hearthling’s whole home. It also allows us to bend the system a little, building rooms individually (rather than the whole building at once) so that we can “break up” the building into multiple personal spaces – great for inns, barracks, family homes and so on!
The major down-side of using buildings rather than zones is that zones are more intuitive while using the buildings for the same effect requires the player to learn the system more. It’s still possible to break up the building into several parts/rooms, but you have to do that when it’s being constructed. Using zones, it’s very clear how the whole system works.
Still, it’s great that we’ve got options on the table and I don’t think any of them are bad options – I’ll be happy with any. I’m just most interested in getting personal spaces right; and hence why I reckon it’s a good idea to explore all the different options