Gamesmith running Laser Designator Kickstarter

Gamesmith is running a Kickstarter campaign for a new laser designator (it makes a whole laser line and not just a dot). Able to let you see LOS lines easier, they’re looking to raise $10k and are already about halfway there.


From the campaign:

Being ON-TARGET is important! However, getting an accurate LINE OF SIGHT or determining a FIRING ARC in your preferred miniatures game can be difficult, frustrating, and strain friendships: With ON-TARGET it’s as simple as point and click. Save time and your friends. We have selected the beam width, focus distance, and output ideal for accurate gaming needs in order to deliver a product superior to anything else on the market today.

The ON-TARGET line laser is based on the same sturdy units used in industrial, construction, and manufacturing sectors to deliver long reliable life. In fact the components for these lasers were originally designed to operate mounted on tools such as circular saws and in other high-vibration environments- so we know it will hold up well to gamer needs, use and abuse.

Ergonomically designed to allow easy top down display with a thumb actuator it has two operating modes; ‘constant on’ and ‘momentary’.

  • Isn’t this the same as the Army Painter Target Lock?

    • Purple-Stater

      Yep, which they sell for only $7.00 (and it’s a solid, quality piece), compared to this thing’s $23.00 price tag.

      I might pay $10-12 for a purple one though.

      • Destrider

        “a solid, quality piece” ?

        I bought one, didn’t work out of the box.

        • J G Baxter

          That one is similar and close in a lot of ways but still inferior. And as you say it is more expensive.

          In the end anything in life can be used, it depends on what you want out of it, if you want a good designed item that will last for years and years with specifications that are really awesome- like the fact that it’s less than 1mm line thickness and therefore more accurate… then you get the good stuff. On Target, On Kickstarter. πŸ™‚

        • Purple-Stater

          Unfortunate for them, and I was not aware of their issues, but I was only speaking for myself. I got one shortly after they became available and it’s been great. It’s been dropped from 3-5 feet at least a half dozen times (clumsy fingers or knocked off a table) and still works well.

      • J G Baxter

        They aren’t even similar, you might as well say a quill pen is the same as a ballpoint pen. πŸ˜‰

        Also while it would be awesome to get lasers in many colours, it’s a bit more complicated than simply choosing a colour, there’s a difference in the technology… which is why green and purple laser diodes are much more expensive, especially at quality levels.

        • Purple-Stater

          Fully aware of that, that’s why I was willing to pay more. It’s just not enough of a big deal to pay much more.

          • J G Baxter

            We’ll keep working to get you a good deal on it. πŸ™‚

    • J G Baxter

      This isn’t even close, for one thing, ON-TARGET works. πŸ˜‰

      Also if you look at the detailed specifications you’ll see that ON-TARGET surpasses everything out there. πŸ™‚

      • Justacomment

        That is just not true. As I said in my other post the Broken Egg Games laser is just higher quality in every aspect. It is brighter, uses real batteries and is cheaper then yours. I get that you are trying to make something cool and be successful but your comment is just incorrect.

        • J G Baxter

          It certainly doesn’t use imaginary batteries I’ll give you that. πŸ˜‰

          As for the rest of that, prove it, show the specs as I certainly don’t see them. =)

          Also in case you missed it our prices are in Canadian dollars, which makes it less expensive even if what you say is correct about its quality, which I don’t see at all. On-Target is clearly superior to it as far as I can tell, and, it’s half the size if not smaller.

          • Justacomment

            Haha, you are the one asking for people’s money and making snake oil claims, I think you should be the one to prove yours is a better product not me. You can quote “stats and labels” to me all day. That doesn’t mean I should believe you. Can yours draw a line across a 6, 8 by 4 tables continue along the floor and out the door to a convention hall and still see it during the day? I saw it done at Templecon. Hell send me one and I will post a side by side comparison. I have watched your video and seen people using the BEG one. The Broken Egg Games laser is stronger and uses AAA batteries not watch parts. If we are still making car references, yours can be a BMW, theirs is a Porsche/Ferrarri. Its that simple. I don’t need to know the engine part numbers to see the difference. I wish you the best of luck on your project, I just know that I would want to be told about what’s out there.

          • J G Baxter

            The specifications for On-Target are clear, the BEG has no information. Ours can draw a line over 6 tables yes, not sure what game you are playing that needs that but sounds fun.

            The type of batteries doesn’t increase the power of a laser, so the comparison is not relevant. Since there is no comparison in terms of power output I can’t comment on that, however, if the BEG is more powerful than 5mW it won’t be legal in most places and won’t be allowed to be imported in most countries.

            I do like the look of the BEG casing, not as much as On-Target though. I don’t like the fact it is so huge. Still that might not bother others.

        • Destrider

          “… is cheaper then yours”
          Broken egg laser = $27 US
          On target laser = $23 US
          I’m guessing neither math nor spelling are really your thing.

          • Justacomment

            I didn’t know this was a class. Attacking the grammar of another person does not make them wrong, it does make you look petty. I am sorry English is not my first language but your right it clearly makes me less of a person.

            Their kickstarter price for non early bird is 30 Canadian dollars which they state as 25 US dollars. When you factor in even a single battery replacement their lifetime cost is more. That is assuming their are asking retail for a kickstarter… Broken Egg, harbor frieght and army painter are already REAL companies selling a product instead of asking others for money first. I can buy their products right now. Not wait months on a promise to deliver a product that may not be better.

            It is clear this is devolving quickly into a worthless argument. I should not be personally attacked in ANY form because I want someone to prove to me the value of what they are asking me money for.

          • Destrider

            English is not my first language either, This does not give you carte blanche to mislead on the price of our product, nor berate it, since you haven’t even seen it.

            You have pretty much called us liars (“That is just not true”).

            You chose to make make an attack on our product and a personal attack on our integrity.

            No sir, you do not get to make a personal attack and expect no response. You are the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.

          • Justacomment

            Well here is some English and math for you. Instead of making me a believer you instead have -1 Customer and anyone else I can convince not to purchase from a company that feels retribution or personal attacks are OK in any form. You have done a poor job of convincing anyone who as posted on this site that your product is better and you sirs made the claim. I disagree with your claim and that makes me worthy of personal attack? I fail to see how my comments were unprofessional or a direct attack. You however got defensive and childish and I hope everyone who reads this will consider how you handled it before giving you a dime of money for something you don’t even have to give them yet. If they are unhappy with your kickstarter, do you plan on making fun of them as well? I think we are done here, lets agree to disagree, I will not post again. Good luck.

          • J G Baxter

            You seem upset?

            I’m not sure why, you seem to be ok insulting my integrity without the slightest hesitation- but not like it when others mention your math or language skills (for what it’s worth I don’t much care about your math or language skills except when they are used incorrectly to attack something without basis that I’m discussing)…

            So why is that? How is the *libelous* comments on me you made not a personal attack?

            I don’t see pointing out that your reading comprehension and ability to do basic math is a personal attack since you are using those skills to spread erroneous information.

            It’s weird that you seem so personally invested in this discussion, do you work with or are associated with someone from a competitor?. I can make sense of someone not agreeing with another, that happens all the time in life, I even understand people viewpoints on why they could just use a cheap-o laser- heck I like saving money just as much as I do getting quality products. I don’t understand however why you won’t look at facts, and our specifications are facts,

            I wish you good luck in your life pursuits, as long as they are carried out ethically.

    • Destrider

      This is “the same” as the Army Painter unit in the sense that Lada and a BMW are both the same thing. I’ve seen the army painter unit. it’s the same laser you buy at dollar store for a dollar with a line lens instead of a pointer. According to my retailer they had to send most of them back b/c they had such a high failure rate.

      I’ve seen a similar laser in Sells for 22.90 euros. about 33cnd

  • Greg Jackson

    We brought the Army Painter Target Locks in because they were cheap and available to us but of the 8 we brought in 6 had to be removed as defective because they either didn’t work at all or were so feeble as to pretty much be useless. I’ve seen the prototype for the On-Target unit and it is much much better than the Army Painter Unit. There are alternatives out there (I’ve seen units from a couple of other companies) that are very similar to the On-Target units and close in price but with shipping would for sure end up more expensive.

  • Sid Singh

    I suppose to each their own, but quite frankly if you are playing a game of toy soldiers where you can’t agree on line of sight with the person across from you …. you’re playing with the wrong person.

    • Purple-Stater

      I play with a group of friends where it is more common that the guy doing the shooting wants to make sure that he has an honest and clear shot, so as to be fair to his opponent. Same situation, very different thing.

  • mathieu

    I have a similar tool from Harbor Freight for $5. Works great, comes with a magnetic base and adjustable position for greater stability (and therefore accuracy) of the line.
    It’s probably not as well-designed, maybe not as pretty (it doesn’t really look different from the low-res pictures shown on the KS page), but it is a fraction of the price, has been around for years, and works incredibly well.

    • J G Baxter

      It’s less accurate clearly. Accuracy is only determined by the straightness and thickness of the line, that is a cheap-o laser. ON-TARGET is clearly superior if you reviewed the specifications.

      That companies laser is obviously inferior and anyone that spent anytime looking at the images, videos, and specifications would see that. Granted the laser you mentioned is cheap in materials, often inaccurate, and made to be pretty much disposable. From what I’ve seen the laser line for cheap-o laser is not always straight, very thick, and dull so it washes out in bright lights. I’ve even known a few that have their lines curve.

      It’s the Yugo of lasers.

      Step up, get quality. πŸ™‚

      • mathieu

        “Clearly less accurate” based on what evidence? You evidently have no experience with that tool, and since it doesn’t appear to be on their online store I’m going to guess you have no idea of its specs either.
        I very much doubt straightness of a line laser is an issue often encountered. A fresnel lens is super cheap and extremely easy to generate with high accuracy. You pretty much have to go out of your way to make a line laser that isn’t perfectly straight…
        As far as thickness, you got me there. My $5 laser is about 1.5-2mm thick at 1m. As I use the edge of the line rather than the line itself it doesn’t make a difference to me, but that’s a fair point.
        Another thing that matters as fas as accuracy goes is stability, though. The fancy laser you guys use isn’t any better than the $3 DIY solution if can’t keep your line perfectly still for a few seconds. That’s actually the main reason I think the mounted Harbor Freight solution is superior to yours. I put it down on the table or on a scenery element, it shines its light with perfect stability.

        Finally, you talk about “spending time” looking at the videos and images when all there is on your KS campaign are low-res pictures that don’t make your premium product look any different from the cheap one I have. I’ll happily believe your claims of higher quality, but you don’t really provide anything solid to back them up.

        • J G Baxter

          The evidence is on our website and kickstarter, check the specifications. As we’ve deconstructed many lasers including that one we know our specs win out. This project for ON-TARGET has been worked on for over a year.

          I’ll see about adding in some more images when the photographer has time.

          • mathieu

            Specs of one product hardly qualify as evidence that it outperforms another. Whether here or on your KS page (your website has nothing relevant to this discussion), all you do is claim that it is “better” and bring up things such as thickness or straightness that, as I explained before, are very much non-issues for such tools.

            As far as I’m concerned, the only thing about your product that might be better than the concurrence is its brightness (until you add a much better green laser). But, again, you do nothing to substantiate the claim that it actually is brighter. You have over a year’s worth of similar products you’ve tested, why not show pictures displaying the comparative brightness (and thickness and straightness if you really think the improvement is noticeable) of your product compared to theirs?

          • Lonestar1771

            I feel the same exact way as you mathieu and I have the same laser from Harbor Freight. In fact I bought it thinking it was just a regular pointer as I needed it to cut holes in my motorcycle fairings, but the lens was easy enough to pop off. This kickstarter just seems like an answer to a question nobody asked. The HF laser will wash out in direct sunlight but most lasers will unless they are powerful enough and you pay for that power. Lets be honest here, a line laser specifically designed for table top gaming is about as niche as you can get. Paying $28 for a laser that isn’t for tactical purposes or work related seems crazy to me.

          • Justacomment

            Right on! That is what I am trying to get at. I don’t know specs but I do know that I saw in person a comparison with the harbor freight, army painter and Broken Egg Laser in person at TempleCon. The Broken Egg one was AMAZING. Ask anyone who was at that con and they will tell you.

          • mathieu

            Which, to be fair, does not mean that on-target isn’t a terrific, high quality product. It might indeed be everything JG claims it is… It’s just that, given how much pricier it is than alternative options on the market, I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect a little more than promises and a few blurry pictures.

        • Destrider

          “You pretty much have to go out of your way to make a line laser that isn’t perfectly straight”

          Then HF ( must have just done that.

          Read the reviews.

          In addition to that HF doesn’t even sell this laser online,
          “Purchase In Store Only
          This item may be available at your local Harbor Freight Tools Store”

          You have to walk into one their US stores and see if they have it. Is there one near you? They are only in the US and many of our customers are in Canada and overseas, so this is hardly an option for many of us.

          In addition, the fact is that our manufactured cost on these units (based a 1000 unit minimum) is more than retail on the HFs laser. How do you thing that happens? is it:

          A- They found a fantastic, super-duper manufacturer that beats all the others in quality and price.

          B- On Target costs more because it is a better product, and better just costs more to manufacture.

          Look, when I was first working on On Target I started by looking at the $1- $5 laser pointers. Without exception they were crap. That’s why we decided to start with a better unit, we just didn’t need the hassle of dealing with a poor product.

          Now, you want to buy the cheapest “whatever” on the market, you go right ahead. You are not our target market.

          • mathieu

            Sure, the one review of a faulty unit (assuming the customer didn’t project the laser light onto a curved surface to begin with) disproves my statement entirely… I certainly wasn’t suggesting that it never happens, I was (and still am) claiming that it is not an easy thing to screw up, and therefore that “straightness” isn’t a particularly novel feature, nor anything to brag about.

            I had mentioned that HF only sells their cheap product online. My point wasn’t to praises theirs and diss yours, but to bring up one existing alternative option I happen to know well (HF is hardly unique of its kind, I don’t assume they’re the only ones selling that sort of cheap line lasers). All I’ve tried to do since is have you guys ACTUALLY substantiate your claims about your products being better. You’ve worked on this for over a year, you’ve tested a number of existing products, you’ve probably tried a few avenues of your own before settling on this one… Yet the only things you’ve been able to bring up to back up your product are a handful of poor quality pictures, and a couple of specs completely irrelevant in a void.

            Allow me to elaborate with an example. In the KS video you tell your story, say you received some preproduction samples, flash a picture of such a sample for ~2s, and then go on with “as you can see this is a well-made unit, not a cheapo laser”. Really? All that picture provides is an idea of the size and of the color of your product. I have no idea of its heft, of how smooth the switch is, of whether the parts wobble or not… Nor of its brightness, straightness, and thickness for that matter. I’m singling this one example out, but that’s the only kind of “evidence” you show in your KS or have been able to produce since.

            I’m sorry but if buying at a premium from you requires to take your claims of quality on faith, then you are correct, I’m not your target market.

          • J G Baxter

            Hey mathieu, you may think the specs are unimportant, and that’s your opinion, however our specs are facts not opinion.

            Having said that some things are hard to say, for instance one competitor I know has a dozen lasers that we could provide samples of (and that I have access to), however 11 of them don’t work *at all* so that’s a bit difficult to show, the 12th works *sometimes*. What can I say other than that laser is known to be bad, and the company has said so in other terms.

            We actually discussed showing line curving issues, wobbles, and so forth, but as we know that is going to vary from laser to laser and I don’t want to say something or imply in a video or picture that its usually the case with their product. I can say from my experience such and such is the case, so I can inform you what lasers not to buy and what I recommend you buy which leaves every other option you can find out there, including grabbing the cheapest laser pointer at the dollar store and a penny of electrical tape… that’ll work as a line laser, except for the line part, and that it won’t work for very long at all.

            As for things you touched on, brightness is something that power output of the laser specs show, you will (with more or less the same results) always get around 5mw of power our of a 5mw laser, therefore it’s not possible that a laser of that power will be brighter to any noticeable extent really, it could be less bright if the lens or diode had issues (and that’s not surprising for some components). Thought that’s not something a video or picture will show well. On thickness, well we’ve said it’s less than 1mm thick, we’ve shown a picture of that. The line we showed is straight, we say it’s straight, and if I showed the line at 3000dpi reaching 6′ long then it’d be as same as saying it’s straight.

            I’m not asking for you to have faith, I’m asking you to believe the specifications I’m providing. If you don’t that’s fine, cheers.

            I’m sorry if that’s not enough for you, here’s hoping that someone you know will get one then you can make a first hand choice for yourself at a later date.

            Be well.

          • mathieu

            “you may think the specs are unimportant, and that’s your opinion”, I never suggested the specs were unimportant, I said that they are meaningless in a void. Which they are, the focal power you proudly announce is hollow to people unfamiliar with laser diodes, the operating distance doesn’t tell me it’s better than other options, the wavelength is utterly standard,… I guess people owning such a laser can go measure theirs at 1m and get an idea of how much better yours is, but given the tests you performed you could easily provide a table of thickness for all references you tried. You could easily have all the relevant specs of your laser in such a table and actually SHOW that they are superior to the concurrence.
            You had one brand with 11 defective units out of 12? There you go, you can add

          • J G Baxter

            A comparison table would make sense, *except* for the simple fact that other products are either no longer sold, or don’t have specs to be verified on their websites any more. So that would again; just be us saying something that others would have to take as fact, and if I did that either you or someone else would say oh that chart is meaningless. πŸ˜€

          • mathieu

            I may or may not, I suppose it depends on what you do provide. As I’ve repeatedly said, you currently show zero comparison with anything existing, so there isn’t really any way to do less meaningful. The fact of the matter is you have everything you need to produce such a comparison tool at little to no cost, and that, at worst, it won’t convince some of the folks who already are skeptical.

            As an added bonus it would be a handy reference chart for people in the market for a gaming line laser. πŸ™‚

            Look I’m not gonna try to convince you any longer. I still feel that, even for a KS, you provide scarce actual information on the product you try to sell, but there clearly are enough people who don’t mind. Good luck.

          • J G Baxter

            Finally added some green lasers. πŸ™‚

            All the specifications for On-Target are there and have been since day, I’m putting together a little chart to compare though the information from other companies is sketchy- most have no specifications at all and in one case the “designer” knew absolutely nothing about what they were selling…

            I’ll post it tomorrow presuming this man-flu finally goes away.

            Ah well life is good for a giggle. =)

          • TWolf29

            I think maybe the problem here is the gap between the stats and how your product is observably better when you use it. Perhaps if you could post a picture showing (for example) the line projected by your laser and the one from the various “other guys”, the quality of your product would be more easily understood?

          • J G Baxter

            We did end up wanting to do a visual comparison, our we tried many times to do it with the Army Painter laser, except that almost all of them didn’t work and the one that did work only worked when it wanted to. So that was an entire afternoon wasted just on that.

            After we talked about it some more we realized that detractors would never be pleased no matter what, and in fairness to other lasers we can’t say that 100% of the time they do one thing or another, and certainly can’t afford to do a large test of hundreds of other lasers- and if we could and did then the typical person didn’t seem to have an interest in that information.

            So we would give a side by side text comparison… which is missing a lot of information as other lasers have only the barest information on their specifications and contacting the companies proved useless as there was little to no extra information to obtain.

            Even more so, one laser isn’t made anymore, another isn’t for sale unless you live by a store in the USA, and the others are around double the price to anywhere outside the USA and isn’t something we find useful at all.

            I’ll post what we were able to find on our kickstarter tomorrow if the timing works out.

  • Justacomment

    I am sorry but the Broken Egg Games laser is brighter, uses triple A (AAA) batteries and is cheaper at 27 dollars then this. I have a cheap one from harbor freight and I have used the army painter one too. The cheap ones are weak and hard to see unless you are close or have the right surface. Also the ones that use watch batteries are more expensive to replace then buying a new one! I saw Broken Egg ones being used at Temple Con all weekend and they CRUSH all other lasers on
    the market in terms of visibility and value. I also really like that it comes with a case.

    • J G Baxter

      It’s more expensive, I know math or numbers might be one of your issues but our prices are in Canadian dollars, and no other laser can be brighter than ours and be a Class I laser, it’s just not logically possible.