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I'm hoping to broadcast UDP packets using the Wi-Fi antenna to everyone else (running the same application) in range. I'd like to do this without having to establish a connection. Is this possible?

I'm able to establish a P2P Wi-Fi connection and then send a multicast message, but that's not quite what I want.

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Yes, it's possible, but you must learn IEE802.11 Datagram very well. There are two ways, the first provides two-way data exchange, the second only broadcasts to receivers:

  1. use the beacon frame and Probe request/response frame to send data from AP to clients without connection
  2. use the length field in the data frame to broadcast only. You should develop a communication protocol with the encoded length. The receiver should:
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No, this isn't how Wi-Fi works. You have to join the same Wi-Fi network first before sending any kind of IP datagrams.

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