Developers have always struggled with compartmentalizing areas of their places into “zones”, i.e. regions that mark the boundary of some special place, or area.
Whether or not a Part/Player is within such a zone determines the possibility of certain game behavior. These inclusive and exclusive zones often mark spawn areas (for players, or assets), areas where players may build (such as property and parcels of land), areas where players may engage in combat, areas of relevant information to iterate over (to avoid magnitude checking irrelevant areas), etc…
Assuming the hypothetical function workspace:IsPartWithinZone(zone,part), or something similar, Developers would be able to easily make these determinations.
Here is a hypothetical representation of three low-resolution zones surrounding a small island.
- The Red Zone marks a protected spawn area where nobody may build.
- The Green Zone is nested completely within the Red Zone. Combat is not allowed in this zone. It is also amorphously shaped.
- The Yellow Zone is nested only partially within the Red Zone. This zone has been claimed by a Player to enforce exclusive building rights.
It is obvious that these zones are very broad and inaccurate containers due to their chunky rectangular nature. A dedicated Zone object which could be expanded with something like the Terrain Grow tool would allow the islands to be more accurately bordered.
The greater challenge of creating custom zones is noticed when zones are not shaped like spheres or cubes. These oddly shaped zones are typically composed of multiple regions that must be independently scanned to determine contents of the whole.
Amorphously shaped zones are not common on Roblox because despite the straightforwardness of their utility, they are not simple to create.
Some custom solutions to this problem that developers are currently using include Region3 checks, Part:GetTouchingParts()/.Touched checks, and the Magnitude property of Vector3’s to determine distance, or combinations of more than one of these at a time.
This does not address the potential diversity of functions for scanning those zones, nor does it address how programmers are creating custom nested zones, and their scanning functions.
Dedicated zone objects would be useful in Studio for determining such things as which areas to populate with certain assets, e.g. code that generates only rocks in Red Zones and only trees in all Green Zones. This is a use-case that I run into frequently, as the placement of assets is painstaking for large Places, and there is often too much variation in the terrain to allow reliable placement of assets based on x/y/z limits.
The creation of a resizeable Zone object with a property such as ZoneId (or BrickColor for better visual understanding), and their ability to include nested zones would afford developers much more flexibility over their Places, and there would be great utility in amorphously shaped Zones which could be drawn onto the map with accuracy.