Written by JimbobJeffers
This is a tutorial for those new to LEGO Racers modding, which shows you how to set up your own LEGO Racers mod directory or install someone else’s mod. Where possible, it is recommended to instead use PatchIt! for ease, however many mods aren’t compatible with it yet, and setting up your own mod requires these steps be followed first anyway.
Note: A non-explanatory, quick-step guide is at the bottom of the tutorial for those who just want a brief run-down on how to setup/install a mod.
|Contents||Creating a New Install Folder||Extracting the JAM Archive||Installing a Mod (Optional)||Recompiling the JAM Archive||Quick-Step Guide|
Step 1: Creating a New Install Folder
The first step in modding is generally to create a duplicate of the original game, where the mod is to be made, and this applies to LEGO Racers too. To do this, you need to navigate to the folder where your game is installed. By default on Windows XP this is:
C:\Program Files\LEGO Media\Games\LEGO Racers
While the default for Windows 7 (64-bit) is:
C:\Program Files (x86)\LEGO Media\Games\LEGO Racers
Now select the LEGO Racers folder, copy it, and paste it in a suitable directory. This can be in the same directory as the original install, or in your documents, etc. – it doesn’t matter. I personally have a folder in the same directory as my original install folder which holds all my Racers mods.
Give this folder a suitable name that helps you identify it. For this example I will name my folder ‘LEGO Racers (Tutorial Mod)’. See the picture below for a final idea of how your folder should look:
Step 2: Extracting the .JAM File
LEGO Racers stores most of its data in the
LEGO.JAM file. Most of the other files in the install folder are songs, and for this reason it is in the JAM file where modding takes place. To extract the JAM file, you will need to download the JAM Extractor by JrMasterModelBuilder. Open the folder and look for the
JAMExtractor.exe file. This is the file that you will use to extract and compile mods, so it would be a nice idea to create a shortcut to this on your desktop so that you can access it easily.
Next, return to your new mod folder. Click and drag the
LEGO.JAM file inside onto the
JAMExtractor.exe file, and the program will begin to extract both folders. Once it is finished you will have a new folder,
LEGO, which contains two folders:
MENUDATA. The former folder holds all the files used during races, while the latter folder is for files used while navigating through the menus, which this includes cutscenes and the character/car creation section.
See the picture below for an idea of how your new mod directory should look. Note that this used the older version of the JAM Extractor, which created a folder called
LEGO_JAM rather than
Step 3: Installing a Mod (Optional)
If you set up this new mod folder for the purposes of installing a mod rather than creating your own, then follow this next step to install it. Otherwise, skip to Step 4.
LEGO_JAM folder in your new install folder and, with this window still open, open your downloaded mod in a second window. The mod should contain two folders,
MENUDATA, just like your extracted folders. Simply copy both of these folders and paste them over your own folders, selecting ‘Merge’ or ‘Copy and Replace’ when requested.
If the mod you downloaded wasn’t presented like this, you will need to find the creator of the mod and subtly shove them into a landslide. That, or you instead need to take a look at the files in the downloaded mod folder, along with any information in the forum post you downloaded it from. Should the mod creator not specify where to place the files, you will need to perform a simple search for files with the same name, replacing them with your own. Be careful of files with the same name in separate folders, however – for instance, all race tracks name the HUD map
The screenshots below show the Nyan Cat-Athon mod being merged with the extracted files in the tutorial mod install folder. Note that this mod also includes a custom
.TUN file, which is placed in the root install folder where all the music tracks are:
Step 4: Recompiling the .JAM File
Once you have finished modding your game, you need to recompile the
LEGO.JAM file for use. Unlike LEGO Rock Raiders, the 2001 version of the game cannot use a ‘Data Method’ and instead use the folders; it must use the compressed .JAM file. For this reason, you can leave your extracted files in the same directory and they won’t affect your game.
To do this, select the
LEGO_JAM folder containing your newly created mod. Ensure it contains all of the files from the original game, modified or not. Then, drag the folder onto the
JAMExtractor.exe application to recompile it. Finally, place the file where the old file used to be. Voila! You have successfully installed a LEGO Racers mod.
The picture below shows the
LEGO_JAM folder being recompiled.
However, the 1999 version of the game can use the DATA method instead. While you can still recompile your .JAM file, it is easier to instead move the
MENUDATA folders out of the extracted folder, and place them into the install folder. If the
LEGO.JAM file is removed, the game will read from these folders, allowing for simpler modding.
TL;DR? (personally I don’t like that statement, but anyway…). Just follow the steps below, with screenshots in the spoilers, for a brief run-through of the tutorial:
- Copy your install folder and paste it somewhere, renaming it to your desired name.
- Drag the
LEGO.JAMfile within your mod’s install directory onto the ‘
- (Optional) If you’re installing someone else’s mod, copy the
MENUDATAfiles within the downloaded folder and paste them over your extracted folders, merging/replacing them.
- Drag the
LEGO_JAMfolder you extracted and modified back onto the
JAMExtractor.exefile to recompile it.