Here is my two cents from a user standpoint that would be ideal...Set a way to mark certain files that force all other processes to idle and when those processes open, everything changes automatically. When they shut down, the processes return to normal. To handle conflicts of multiple files that force other processes to normal, you could just follow the window focus. The program in focus would force all other processes idle.
Don't know anything about the difficulty of making that happen, but identifying a program (process or processes related to the program) should be easy enough for the user, and the programming handling the rest is the way programs should work IMO.
That said, your solution would be a good one if my suggestion is not possible, or as a stop-gap while figuring out the details and programming it into the next version.