From: The Big Nowhere
If you are simply trying to make the components cost more (in the trade screen) then the easy way to do it in a game you set up is to go the part about research (with the slider that let's you go from fast to slow) and type 999 in the box beside it. That sets the research cost to max.
You won't be able to adjust component costs without getting into the code since it is hard-coded, and I can't help you there.
You can help the AI empires by modding the race files for the race you do not plan to play. IE make a copy of the races folder, create a new theme and paste it in there. Then you can make a back up, mod each file, and choose the one you want to play and replace it with the original (IE swap them back and forth).
The places that can make the most difference in the text file are this area:
'Ship Maintenance Savings: percentage rate of savings on maintenance costs for ships and bases
'Troop Maintenance Savings: percentage rate of savings on maintenance costs for troops
'Resource Extraction Bonus: percentage rate of speed increase for all mining operations
'War Weariness Attenuation: percentage rate of reduction in war weariness
'Satisfaction Modifier: percentage rate of happiness bonus at colonies
'Research Bonus: percentage rate of speed increase for research
'Espionage Bonus: percentage rate of skill bonus for all intelligence missions
'Trade Bonus: percentage rate of bonus for colony income
And further down in the file, you will find this:
'Ship Size Factor Civilian - resize factor for maximum civilian ship sizes
'Ship Size Factor Military - resize factor for maximum military ship sizes
'Disallowed Research Areas 1,2,3: areas that this race cannot research: 0=None, 1=Torpedoes, 2=Missiles, 3=Area Weapons, 4=Ion Weapons, 5=Fighters, 6=Armor, 7=Hyper Disruption, 8=Sensors
'Additional Intelligence Agents: number of extra intelligence agents allowed above normal limit
'Construction Speed Factor: increase or decrease construction speed. Faster construction speeds can especially affect colonization, allowing fast building of new colony ships. Minimum value = 0.3. Maximum value = 3.0
Also, you can use these to make the race you want to play harder, by giving them reduced income and increased costs (by using negative numbers), smaller ships, slower construction, and even disabling certain techs.
See there really is a lot of modifiability in the game, you just have to get under the hood so to speak.
Distant Worlds Fan
'When in doubt...attack!'