EGG files are required?

Is there an API to load models from something other than the EGG format? Any example of a custom OBJ loader, or even, an integration with ASSIMP?

Yes. You can load Panda’s native .bam format (which is more full-featured than .egg). Or, you can load from any format that assimp supports by using Panda’s assimp loader, via the regular loader.loadModel function.

You will need to compile Panda from source to use its assimp loader, since it is not available in current builds yet. You need to add “load-file-type p3assimp” to Config.prc to load the assimp plug-in.