For my first tutorial on RRU, I'd like to make a simple guide on modding Lego Racers by creating custom textures for the models. These textures replace current textures, they don't add new textures. I've written quite a lot, you should be able to skim-read through if you don't have the patience.
Preparing the Mod
This is often standard procedure when modding, but if you're not aware of what to do, follow these steps. You will create a new directory for your Lego Racers game in which you can safely make a new texture mod.
1. Find the install directory of your Lego Racers game.
2. Copy the containing folder (LEGO Racers) and paste it in the same directory. Rename this new folder to something suitable, e.g. 'RacersModded' (I've purposely made it twelve characters for the next step).
3. Inside the new folder, you will find the LEGO.JAM. Download JMMB's JAM Extractor, and use it to extract this file.
4. You should now have two folders inside the main LEGO_JAM folder, 'GAMEDATA' and 'MENUDATA', ready for modding.
Making the Skins
The texture files for models in LEGO Racers can be found in GAMEDATA\COMMON and MENUDATA\PARTDB. While both use the same file, the former is for textures seen while actually racing, while the latter is for textures that you see in the menu section of the game.
To mod a texture, you first need to download these template texture files, ripped from the PC game. Inside you will find a collection of files including heads, headgear, bodies, and legs. These are the templates you will use to create new textures.
The textures are named using a simple system. Files containing 'CHST' refer to the torso, files containing 'DFLT' are the face, 'LEG(S)' are the leg of the model and 'HELMET', 'HAIR' and 'HAT' are obviously those pieces of headgear. In addition, files containing 'MAT' are for in-game AI opponent textures. None of these can currently be viewed, which is why you downloaded the template skins. I've given a small explanation of them below.
So, you simply need to draw over the template files in any image editor to create new ones! The files must be saved as .BMP images, but can be in any resolution (so long as it is a power of 2), allowing for textures of a variety of qualities. Remember, the first four textures above will only affect the player textures - it is the MAT texture that is used for AI opponents.
Adding the Skins
All characters in the Lego Racers game have a two-letter name assigned to them which is used in their relevant texture files. Some characters (mainly bosses) have all four textures, while others will share the standard ones. The naming system for the racers are as follows (in circuit number order, followed by alphabetical order, the two letters to the left are the file names):
You just need to change the file names of your textures to match the characters in-game, then copy the files into the GAMEDATA\COMMON and MENUDATA\PARTDB folders.
Original Skin Textures
I have ripped all of the skin textures from the game, and you can click the link below to download them (thanks Xiron for the HELMET2 texture).
JJ's LR Texture Rips
They are saved as BMP images with the exact same names of the game textures for your modding convenience
I've kept the original screenshots I took below in case it's easier for people.
Here are all the bodies found in the game.
Here are all the faces found in the game.
Here is all the headgear found in the game.
This section isn't complete yet, as the method I used to work out the files doesn't quite work with legs.
How the Textures Work
To help even further, I have begun to determine how the game maps the textures onto the models. So far I have worked out the helmet, body and legs - feel free to use these textures as reference when creating your own textures.
The yellow section is the main area. The white square at the lower-left is used for the rest of the helmet, and the line of colours above this is the visor.
The black areas are not used, and you can use the screenshots below to determine the rest.
It is worth noting that in menu selection, the game uses the right hand to texture the left hand too, while in-game both hands use separate textures. In addition, the template textures have shading, suggesting that the textures may have been designed to be more advanced before the final release.
Again, the black areas are not used.
The leg texture has (annoyingly) only three areas to colour. The yellow area is the main portion of the leg (thigh and that-lower-part-no-one-knows-the-name-of), and the green area is used for the belt section. The red area is used for the foot, sides and back, which unfortunately restricts texturing items such as shoes.
The final step in texture modding is to recompile the mod. Once all the modified textures are copied into the folders, you can either recompile the main folder into a JAM file using the Jam Extractor, or run the game without the Jam Archives.
Then, voila! You have successfully created a texture mod!