To use all functionality of PlanetsCentral, you must create an account. After all, we need a name we can use to identify your games, messages, and files.
Creating an Account (signing up)
The only mandatory information is a user name and a password.
You can invent a user name you want to use to identify yourself. It must consist of latin letters. Case is ignored, the names will be converted to lower case. Special characters, such as punctuation and umlauts, are not allowed and will be replaced by underscores.
The password must consist of regular ASCII characters. Case is significant here, and punctuation is allowed, but umlauts and other international characters are not supported.
You can also enter a real name and an email address, but you don't have to. I recommend you to enter at least an email address. You can modify your settings later on the settings page.
If you enter an email address, the server will send you one mail asking to confirm that you actually own that email address. Only if you click the confirmation link, the server will be able to email you.
You can log in using the log-in form on the main page, or the "Log in" link on the navigation bar. Some features requiring you to be logged in will automatically redirect you to the log-in form, others will not be available when not logged in.
If you check the Remember me (permanent log-in) checkbox, you will stay logged in permanently until you click "Log out". This works by setting a permanent cookie. You'll probably use this feature when playing from your personal computer or smartphone.
If you use a shared computer, you should not check that checkbox, so you will be logged out automatically when you close your browser.
The existence of your account will not be made public by the server. There is no publicly-accessible directory of existing user accounts. If you create an account to follow the forum, nobody will notice.
However, if you take part in a public activity - play in a game, post in the forum -, your account will be irrevocably be associated with that: the ranking list or your forum posting will link your account.
Also, if you interact with other users that make existence of your account public, or someone guesses your account name, the server cannot do anything against that.